Butler's Geibel swinging a hot softball bat
By Mike Kilroy
Eagle Staff Writer
BUTLER TWP — Since Jenna Geibel first picked up a bat and took a swing, she dreamed of a day like the one she had Monday.
Geibel hit a pair of two-run home runs, the second blast coming with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning with her Butler softball team trailing 4-3 against section rivalNorth Allegheny.
With one swing, a section losing streak dating back to 2004 was over. With one thunderous blast, a losing streak that began in 2005 was no more.
"It felt good," Geibel said. "I just feel more confident this year."
The sophomore is hitting .714 this season. She already has slugged three home runs after hitting none last season.
The power has come as a bit of a surprise to Geibel, who also has smashed three doubles and a triple.
Her slugging percentage is in four digits.
"I felt it was going to come," Geibel said. "I had problems with my swing and worked on it, and I'm feeling good now."
Geibel struggled at times last season, but showed flashes of becoming a solid hitter.
Butler coach Lyndsay Millea attributes Geibel's hot start in 2007 to her work ethic and a change in her approach at the plate.
"She has such a great, sound swing," Millea said. "This year, she's focused more on what the pitchers are giving her and has learned to just go with it instead of swinging for the fences all the time."
Millea doesn't care what kind of hits Geibel gets, as long as she gets on base.
"She's just swinging to get hits now," the coach said. "And because her swing is so sound, she's getting all those extra base hits."
Last year, Butler went 0-17. It was a tough season for Geibel, but one she said was a valuable learning experience.
"We couldn't make plays last year," Geibel said."
There's no doubting her toughness, either. The shortstop is not shy about diving for ground balls. She has a six-inch scratch running down the right side of her face, and her left elbow bears a fresh scab from a meeting with the infield dirt.
Her toughness has rubbed off on her teammates, who are hoping the win is a sign of things to come for the Golden Tornado.
Geibel also is hoping to keep up her hot streak at the plate. If she does, Butler won't be the easy "W" it was last season.
Geibel continued her hitting with a double against Mars' Monica Glomb Tuesday.
"The fact that she can hit againstMonica Glomb testifies to the fact she is one of the best hitters in the WPIAL," Millea said.