back on for Geibel
Butler senior goes deep after season without homer
BUTLER TWP — Shortstop Jenna Geibel doesn't try to hit home runs.
She'll take them, though.
"You don't go up there thinking about hitting one," said the Butler softball senior. "But when you do, it's great."
It had been a long time since Geibel was able to round the bases.
After hitting four homers as a sophomore, she went her entire junior season in a longball drought.
In her second at-bat of her senior season, though, Geibel hit a towering shot over the fence in right center that gave Butler a 6-4 lead over Plum on the way to a 7-5 win Friday.
Geibel didn't trot around the bases. She sprinted. She was so excited, she nearly passed Erica Thrower, who was on base in front of her after drawing a walk.
For first-year head softball coach Lori Kline, who served as an assistant for six years, seeing Geibel's power return is a pleasant development.
"I think this should be her best year yet," Kline said. "She's really pounding the ball."
Geibel hit .500 during her sophomore season, but she slipped to .361 in 2008
Most players wouldn't quibble about an average that high. Geibel isn't like most players.
"I'm looking to try to match my sophomore season, at least," Geibel said. "(Last year) I could have done a lot better. I started off slow and by the time I heated up, it was too late."
Geibel is determined to start faster in 2009, and she did just that Friday, batting 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIto go with her home run.
The doubles came from hustle, which is a trait Geibel has become known for. It isn't a successful game unless Geibel leaves it covered with dirt.
"She's diving for balls, getting dirty, getting hustle doubles," Kline said. "She brings the girls up and makes them play their best. She's a great leader."
Geibel didn't start playing softball until she was 12, when she was forced to give up baseball. If she had her druthers, she'd still be playing baseball.
"I've always been playing with the boys," Geibel said. "I started playing baseball when I was 4. I guess that's why I like to get dirty."
Geibel also gets noticed.
She was heavily recruited and decided to commit early to Slippery Rock University.
The University of Pittsburgh and other DivisionI schools also were interested.
But SRU was the best match, she said, and offered an opportunity to play early.
Geibel might move to the outfield at SRU, but it's no big deal to her.
"My bat will be in the lineup," Geibel said.
There's no doubting Geibel is focused on softball. She plays it year-round.
"I think the longest stretch I've gone without playing in the last year is two weeks," she said.
Geibel has never played in a postseason game with the Tornado. She desperately wants to change that this season.
"We've never made it," Geibel said. "Ithink we can do it. We have all the credentials. We have all the pieces."