Gaining Respect on the National Stage

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Beaver Falls, PA- Two years ago, the Geneva College softball team gained some national respect with an upset of top ranked Central Baptist University at the NCCAA national tournament. The Golden Tornadoes once again took the national stage and again did Geneva proud with a solid showing against top notch competition. Once again Geneva entered the ten-team field as the only non-scholarship program competing. Geneva dropped a closely contested 2-1 decision to Trevecca Nazarene in the first round before turning around and knocking out Indiana Wesleyan by the count of 3-2 in extra innings. The run ended on Friday morning with an 8-0 loss to Campbellsville University but not before once again proving it belonged on the same stage with some of the best teams in the nation.

Geneva ended its 2013 season with an overall record of 23-20 including a conference championship loss to Thomas More last weekend. The Golden Tornadoes opened the season with one victory in their first seven games but rallied back to put together another memorable campaign.

Proof of Geneva′s success came in the several post-season honors that flooded the 2013 roster. Freshman first baseman Laura Beck (Canfield, OH) and freshman pitcher Samantha Johnson (Franklin Regional, PA) were both named first team All-Conference selections. Junior shortstop Ashley Davis (Springfield Local, OH) was a second team selection and freshman outfielder Dayna Hicks (Blackhawk, PA) was an honorable mention selection. Beck and Hicks were also named NFCA All-Region third team selections.

Johnson, Beck, Davis and Hicks were also first team selections to the NCCAA All-East region team and were joined by teammate Leah Prisuta (Riverside, PA). Head coach Van Zanic was named region coach of the year for the fifth time in the past six years. Perhaps the most impressive award was handed out at the NCCAA national tournament when freshman Laura Beck was named a second team All-American selection. Beck becomes the first freshman in school history to receive All-American honors.

Beck finished the season with a .387 batting average to lead the Golden Tornadoes with a team best 48 hits and tied for the team lead with 24 RBI′s. Davis also had 24 RBI′s and posted a .326 batting average with ten stolen bases. Hicks ended the year with a .308 batting average, 25 runs scored and a team best 34 stolen bases. Prisuta became Geneva′s all-time leader in stolen bases when she swiped a base in Geneva′s first round loss to Trevecca Nazarene. She picked up 28 steals this past year and has 80 thefts in her career.

In the circle, Samantha Johnson won a freshman record 17 games and finished with a 2.23 ERA with 107 strikeouts in her first collegiate season.

Three Geneva players were also honored for their work in the classroom as NCCAA Academic Scholar-Athletes. Ashley Davis, Lori Deem and Dana Schnitzel all met the requirement of a 3.4 cumulative average in their junior and senior seasons.

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).