Beaver Falls, PA - It was not exactly the senior day celebration that the Geneva College softball team had in mind on Friday afternoon. The Golden Tornadoes came into their doubleheader with Chatham University needing just one victory to qualify for the PAC tournament next week. Geneva accomplished that goal by splitting a doubleheader with the Celtics but it was anything but a masterpiece. Geneva took game one by the count of 1-0 before Chatham turned the tables by defeating Geneva by an identical 1-0 score. The split moved Geneva′s record to 27-17 overall and 11-7 in the PAC. By virtue of the split, the Golden Tornadoes clinched their first trip to the PAC tournament in just their first year of eligibility.
Julie DiLonardo, toeing the rubber at Merriman Complex for the final time in her brilliant career, did all she could do for the Golden Tornadoes by holding Chatham to just one run over 14 innings of work. DiLonardo was mowing down batters in game one with a total of 13 strikeouts in her 23rd victory of the season. She allowed just five hits in her eighth shut-out of the season. Geneva managed only four hits in the victory. The lone run came in the fifth inning when Martha Adams scored an unearned run after she reached third base with a two-out triple.
In game two, Chatham finally solved DiLonardo with a pair of hits and a run in the first inning. DiLonardo still went the distance and did not allow another run the rest of the way. She scattered five hits and struck out five in the hard luck loss. Geneva managed only four hits in the loss. Lori Deem doubled to the fence with two outs in the seventh inning but was unable to come across with the tying run.
The Golden Tornadoes will begin play in the PAC tournament next Thursday at the site of the top seed. The four-team double elimination tournament will determine the PAC tournament champion, who will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA regional tournament one week later.
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.