Beaver Falls, PA - What started with one Pirates ball girl three years ago, the Geneva College softball team now seems to be the farm system for Pittsburgh Pirates employees. Anjelica Marsh started the trend when she was hired as a Pirates ball girl prior to the 2010 major league baseball season. Three years later, Marsh is set to begin her third term with the team and she has been joined by several of her former Geneva teammates.
Marsh, Leanne Abate and Samantha Bautista all began their ball girl terms last year and have now since graduated from Geneva College and the Golden Tornadoes softball program. However, they will all continue to work for the Pirates and will be joined in 2012 by sophomore infielder Ashley Davis. Davis becomes the fourth Geneva player to serve as a Pirates ball girl on a staff that now makes up nearly 25% of the entire crew.
Kelsey Evans also played softball at Geneva and graduated two years ago. Evans begins her new gig this season as a member of the Pirates Cannonball Crew. So at last count, a total of five Geneva softball players or former players will be working at PNC Park this summer.
"It really is amazing," says head softball coach Van Zanic. "I suppose it′s a tribute to Geneva College that we are recruiting kids that have the ability to go into the workforce and be successful. They are all having the times of their lives and say it′s the greatest job in the world."
"I may start using it as a recruiting tool," Zanic joked. "If you come play softball at Geneva you could be the next person working at PNC Park. Actually, I′m sure that those folks in charge of hiring personnel have been so pleased with the kids from Geneva that they look forward to seeing those applications come across their desk."
The 2012 version of Geneva College softball is set to begin its season on Monday in Ft. Myers, FL. The Golden Tornadoes open a 12-game swing through Ft. Myers with games against Worcester Polytechnical Institute and Kenyon on Monday afternoon. Geneva′s softball team is ranked eighth in the NCCAA pre-season poll and is picked to finish second in the Presidents′ Athletic Conference pre-season rankings. Geneva finished the 2011 season with an overall record of 27-13 and a fourth place finish at the NCCAA national tournament. The 2012 season is the first that Geneva will be eligible for post-season play in the PAC and NCAA Division III.
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.