BATAVIA – Geneva softball catcher Kaitlyn Plocinski did more than just call the pitches for the pitcher, her sister Emil,y in Friday's Upstate Eight Conference River finale against Batavia.
The freshman backstop was key in producing runs that turned a 1-1 pitchers duel between her sister and Batavia’s Rachael Lovestrand into a 10-1 win for Geneva.
The younger Plocinski was 3 for 3 with a double and two singles and four RBIs. Her two-run double in the sixth gave her team a 5-1 advantage.
"I thought it was a good pitchers' duel,” Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. “It was tight obviously and then in the sixth inning we got ourselves a little bit of breathing room and strung a few together.”
After a rocky first inning and putting the first two batters on base in the second, Emily Plocinski settled down in the circle and retired 18 of the remaining 19 Bulldogs she faced. Only Lovestrand reached base after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
Geneva’s sophomore hurler gave up only three hits and three walks in the victory. One of the walks, a bases loaded pass to Batavia senior Nicole Peercy, forced in the Bulldogs’ run in the first inning.
“After the second inning Emily was sharp. They didn’t get a hit,” Dierks said. “ I thought Emily threw some very nice pitches. We also made a couple of good plays in the field.”
“My inside pitches were working really well,’ said Emily Plocinski. ”I was trying to throw off the plate as much as possible because they could hit pretty well.”
The right-hander was backed up a strong defense that did not commit an error.
“Their defense was pretty solid,” Batavia coach Lupe Castellanos said. "We hit the ball hard a couple of time but right at them."
Lovestrand also gave up a run in the first on Kaitlyn Plockinski’s first RBI, a single to center that scored Anna Geary.
Lovestrand, a freshman, allowed runners in five of the six innings she pitched. Until the sixth inning, she wiggled out the jams without damage. Geneva left runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifths innings.
Geary broke the tie in the sixth with as single that scored Madison Keith and McKenna Schimmel. Geary and Rylie Porretto scored on Kaitlyn Plocinski’s double.
“I was just looking for something that was down and low that I could really drive,” said the younger Plockinski.
Geneva (20-13, 11-8 UEC River) put the game away in the seventh by scoring five more runs off Batavia relief pitcher Alyssa Klemm. A Kaitlyn Plocinski single to right scored Rylie Porretto and scored the final run of the game on Annika Radabaugh’s double.
"It’s taken us a few innings to get going and to figure things out,” Dierks said. “We make some adjustments along the way and we start to string some together.”
Friday was also senior day for Batavia (8-19, 7-12). In addition to honoring Peercy and Jorie Nichol, the game was a fundraiser for junior Sarah Little, who recently lost her father to skin cancer. The Bulldogs wore special jerseys with Team Little across the back and Peercy's and Nichol’s numbers on the shoulders.