Beaver Falls, PA - The weather across the region has been anything but ideal for the past month. Despite having to play games through the rain drops and snowflakes, the Geneva College softball team has managed to put together a 15-7 record through its first 22 games of the season. The impressive start has not gone unnoticed as the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) came out with its most recent national softball poll on Tuesday and listed Geneva as the fourth best team in the country, which was good enough for the highest national ranking in school history.
While it may seem that the season has provided a bit of a disconnect because of the inconsistency of the weather, the Golden Tornadoes have managed to take care of business for the most part since returning from a 12-game trip to Florida to open the season. Returning from the sunshine state with a record of 7-5 may not seem all that impressive until one looks at the competition that Geneva faced at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, FL. "We were challenged every game in Florida," says head coach Van Zanic. "We were hopeful that a difficult schedule early would pay off when we got up north and so far the plan has worked nicely." The Golden Tornadoes are 8-2 in ten games since returning from Florida including a 5-1 mark on their home field. Geneva has fared very well at home since opening its new on campus field four years ago. The Golden Tornadoes boast a 44-10 overall record on campus during that span.
Geneva has gotten tremendous work in the circle this season which has been the focal point of its success. Ariel Lilly (1.09 ERA) and Julie DiLonardo (1.98 ERA) have done tremendous work all season. Meanwhile, the Geneva offense has shown spurts of explosiveness throughout the season. "We have a very solid team but we are simply lacking consistency," says Zanic. "If we can find a way to put things together on a more regular basis we may have something special."
Geneva is scheduled to host the NCCAA East regional tournament on April 25-26 with that schedule yet to be determined. The Golden Tornadoes will be seeking their first trip to the NCCAA national tournament since their last appearance back in 2007. The NCCAA national tournament will be held in Troutville, VA and hosted by Bluefield College.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).