Troutville, VA – Despite what appeared to be insurmountable odds for the Geneva College softball team on Thursday afternoon, the Golden Tornadoes pulled off the finest victory in school history. Geneva upset top-seeded and defending national champion Central Baptist 4-2 in the opening round of the NCCAA national tournament. Central Baptist, ranked #4 in the most recent NAIA national poll, fell to 52-5 with the loss while Geneva improved to 26-11. Central Baptist came into the tournament leading the country in every offensive category including a new NAIA single season record of 132 home runs. On Thursday, Geneva and junior pitcher Julie DiLonardo held the high powered offense to just six hits and one earned run.
CBC opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the third inning but Geneva was able to hold down the fort until it rallied back late in the game. All of Geneva’s runs came in the bottom of the fifth as the Golden Tornadoes put up four runs. Martha Adams slashed a two-run double into the right center gap to tie the score. Two batters later, Ashley Davis gave Geneva the lead with an RBI single. Adriane Blake then crossed home plate following an errant throw from the catcher to close out the scoring.
Four runs were more than enough for DiLonardo as she closed the door inside the circle in the final two innings. Geneva managed only three hits in the game but it took advantage of a pair of walks in an error in the four run fifth inning.
The Golden Tornadoes will face North Greenville, SC in Friday’s second round with the winner advancing to the semi-finals on Friday evening.
All 50 states offer some form of reciprocity for certification to Geneva education graduates.