Troutville, VA – A game that will be remembered as one of Geneva’s biggest victories in school history helped launch the Golden Tornadoes to a fourth place finish at the 2011 NCCAA national softball tournament. Geneva won one and lost a pair on Friday to close out their season. The day opened with a 3-1 loss to North Greenville, which will be playing in Saturday’s championship round. In its first loser’s bracket game, Geneva eliminated Cedarville University by the score of 4-3. In the loser bracket semi-finals, Geneva dropped an 8-0 decision to top-seeded Central Baptist, one day after having knocked off the 56-5 Mustangs. The Golden Tornadoes ended their season with a record of 27-13.
In game one, Geneva spotted North Greenville the first run in the second inning before Adriane Blake’s RBI single in the third inning tied the game. The game remained tied at 1-1 until North Greenville struck for a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Julie DiLonardo was handed the loss despite going the distance and allowing five hits and striking out a pair.
In game two, DiLonardo again went the distance and picked up her school record tying 21st victory of the season. She scattered nine hits and struck out five in the win. Geneva opened the scoring with a pair in the first inning on an Ashley Davis RBI ground out and an RBI single from Leanne Abate. Abate knocked In Geneva’s second run with a base hit in the third inning prior to a Martha Adams run scoring single in the fourth inning. Geneva had six hits in the game including two each from Adams and Blake.
Geneva got an idea of why Central Baptist is ranked number three in the NAIA in the day’s final game. The Mustangs scored three runs in the first inning including the team’s record 134th home run of the season. Geneva’s offense managed just one hit in the loss while Central Baptist scored in all but two innings. DiLonardo went 3.2 innings and took the loss while Ariel Lilly pitched 2.1 innings of relief and allowed just one run.
Central Baptist will face Simpson University on Saturday morning with the winner advancing to play North Greenville in the national championship final. Julie DiLonardo was named to the All-tournament team while also being named a second team All-American. Sophomore Leah Prisuta was named a first team All-American.