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Fast-starting Geneva softball slugs way past South Elgin

Published: Saturday, April 26, 2014 6:17 p.m. CST

GENEVA – Saturday morning was not the right day to be a pitcher. In Geneva’s 15-7 win against South Elgin, both teams combined for 36 hits as pitchers from both sides struggled to get outs.

The Vikings’ first six hitters combined to get on base in 22 of their 27 plate appearances as Geneva (10-4, 5-2 Upstate Eight Conference River Division) banged out 19 hits. Every Vikings player in the lineup reached base in some form.

Anna Geary led the Geneva offensive outburst from the leadoff spot, going 3 for 3 with a pair of walks and an RBI while scoring four times.  Geary walked and scored in the first and second innings before singling and scoring in the fourth and fifth.  The junior’s RBI double in the sixth capped a near-perfect offensive day for the Vikings.

“Both teams hit really well as you can see by the score, 15-7,” Geary said. “As the leadoff hitter, I’m just trying to get on base, just get on so someone can get me over. It was really important for us to get ahead and keep it up the whole game.”

South Elgin (8-10, 1-5) pulled within 5-4 after scoring four runs in the third off Geneva starter Rachel Fanella. Back-to-back home runs from Mallory Mecklenburg and Cassidy Westlund pulled the Storm within a run.

But Geneva’s offense responded in the bottom of the inning as Fanella’s two-run single pushed the Vikings’ lead to 7-4. Four more hits in the Geneva fourth tacked on four more runs as RBI hits from Molly Wrenn and Jenelle Reilly helped the Vikings take an 11-4 lead.

“We put the entire emphasis of our pre-game talk on starting fast. We’ve been falling behind in games on a regular basis and it certainly makes a big difference to score early,” Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. “We scored in every inning – we had two or more in every inning. We’re certainly capable of hitting from the top to the bottom of the order and I’m thrilled with the way we played.”

The Storm tacked on three runs in the fifth to chase Fanella. Emily Plocinski came on in relief and stranded a pair of runners to hold the Geneva lead at 11-7. RBI hits from Wrenn and Madison Keith in the fifth pushed the Vikings’ lead back to 13-7. Geneva added two more in the sixth with RBI hits from Plocinski and Geary making it 15-7.

“Geary was hot from the top of the order and the last couple of games we’ve had production from the top of the order,” Dierks said. “I like the consistency today. The two-run innings kept adding up. When they put up a couple of big innings against us we had the pitching to take those.”

Fanella went 4 2/3 innings to earn the win for Geneva, allowing seven runs, including the two South Elgin homers. Plocinski was solid in relief for Geneva, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four.

Rylie Porretto went 4 for 5 with 2 RBI while Jenelle Reilly was a perfect 4 for 4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Kieth added a pair of singles, two RBI’s and two runs scored.

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