Mizzou Softball's Genovese Plays Through Personal Adversity

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COLUMBIA -- The Missouri softball team lost leadership last season, but the Tigers are still in the upper half of the Big 12 standings this year. One freshman has infused the program with her personality.

For the last three seasons Mizzou softball's played at the College World Series. Although they've only won one game, they won a lot by just making it there.

Freshman Corrin Genovese was a high school All-American, and she says she now plays at Mizzou because she saw them at the World Series.

When it comes to confidence on the Missouri softball field, keep an eye on Corrin Genovese.

"She makes plays day in and day out that I'm just continually amazed by her," said Missouri head coach Ehren Earleywine.

"Having confidence in my abilities. Having confidence in my pitcher and my other teammates. If we put Chelsea on the mound we should be able to beat anybody. We should know that. We should own that," Genovese said.

Coach Earleywine compares Genovese to former Tiger Rhea Taylor.

"Corrin just brings a lot of life, like Rhea did," Earleywine said. "A lot of life, a lot of character, and a lot of personality."

"I tell people I'm 5'-7," Genovese said. "It makes me feel tough."

There is plenty of toughness in this native of Buffalo, New York, not just on the field, but in life.

"You worry as a coach, am I going to lose a kid like that. Is she going to go back home because things are just too tough," Earleywine speculated.

It started in the fall when Genovese lost her grandpa, Dom, just before Thanksgiving.

"It literally just happened out of nowhere," Genovese said. "It spiraled out of nowhere. That's why it was really hard for me to understand at first cause I hadn't lost a family member."

It happened again in January when Genovese's grandpa, Tom, passed away.

"The worst experience," Genovese said. "It was bad."

"It was a really tough time for her because not only did her grandparents pass away, but she was dealing with all typical freshman struggles that you go through," Earleywine said.

Genovese found a way to keep her grandpas with her during games. A yellow Livestrong bracelet reminds her of her grandpa, Tom.

"Since the day I found out he had cancer I was maybe 10. I was young. Ever since, me and my sister and my brother have never taken our LiveStrongs off, ever," Genovese said.

And to keep her grandpa, Dom, with her, Corrin wears a big white shirt- the same one her grandpa used to wear.

"You'll see it popping out. It's a big shirt. Coach Pete is like Corrin tuck that in, I tried, but there's just nowhere for it to go," Genovese said.

Genovese says it's difficult knowing her grandpas passed before they had the chance to see her play college softball.

"They definitely would be here if he could, but I know they've got front row seats now," Genovese said.

"I'm glad she is the type of person that she is, a percevering person. She's very tough and she fought through it and I think we're going to reap those benefits for the next four years," Earleywine said.

And Genovese says she benefits from help from her grandpas.

"I'm like c'mon grandpa's. That's what I say whenever there is something going on. I'm like c'mon grandpas. Those guys have never let me down when I'm on the field and I say c'mon grandpas. It's not just me against the pitcher. I got my grandpa's on my side for this one," Genovese said.

Coach Earleywine says he doesn't see Genovese staying at 3rd base in the future. He believes she's made to be a shortstop.

Genovese is hitting .286 in conference play and is 2nd on the team with 12 runs scored.