After playing a week in the Sunkissed Classic, the Plattsburgh State softball team left Kissimmee, Florida, with a 6-8 overall record and an eye toward a win at home in its first SUNYAC game of the season next Friday against The College at Brockport.
The Cardinals will face the Golden Eagles at Cardinal Park for a double header starting at 3 p.m. followed by a game at 5 p.m. They will then compete against SUNY Geneseo the following day at home in another double header starting at noon, followed shortly with another game at 2 p.m.
PSUC understands the importance of starting conference play with a win.
“Our confidence was low throughout the whole Florida trip,” junior catcher Jennifer Groat said. “We need to start off strong to remind ourselves we are capable of winning.”
Brockport is returning from the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Florida, where they compiled an 8-6 record.
Geneseo currently holds the best record in the SUNYAC after winning 10 games and only losing two in The Spring Games softball event hosted in Clermont, Florida.
Over spring break, PSUC began its season in the Sunkissed Classic where it faced 14 opponents, three of which were ranked nationally.
The Cards ended day one of the classic with two wins, one being a 6-5 win against nationally-ranked Ramapo College.
No. 12-ranked Ramapo held a 5-1 lead over PSUC entering the sixth inning before giving up four runs in the two remaining innings. Senior outfielder Amanda Tantillo scored the go-ahead run after an error by senior shortstop Nicole Hernandez resulted in two unearned runs.
After a 3-2 start in the showcase, the Cards dropped their following six games.
Head coach Stephanie Conroy isn’t overly concerned with the team’s performance saying,”Florida was our time to learn.” However, she stressed the need to compete with the conference schedule soon approaching. “Now is our time to compete,” Conroy said.
“Capitalizing on every opportunity we’re given,” is a lesson Groat believes the team can learn from its performance in the Classic.
“Taking advantage of other team’s mistakes and taking advantage of the opportunities our baserunners give,” is a point of emphasis for Groat.
Groat believes staying positive was an area the team did well in its learning experience in Florida.
PSUC was able to leave Florida on a three-game winning streak. Groat believes the team’s momentum can carry into SUNYAC play next week.
“I think that we played a lot of tough competition and a lot of people were disappointed with our final outcomes,” Groat said. “We learned a lot and now we’re going to be able to take that [momentum] into our regular season.”
Groat was awarded SUNYAC Player of the Week for her performance in the Sunkissed Classic.
In 45 at-bats, Groat recorded 27 hits and a .600 batting average.
In a 4-3 loss against Washington University (Missouri), Groat achieved a perfect four-for-four batting statline with one hit being a triple.
“It’s an honor to get it, I just got to keep doing what I’m doing,” Groat said.
Moving forward, Conroy is looking for her team to make adjustments to how they played in Florida.
“[Florida] was a good learning experience for us,” Conroy said. “It’s important for us to be able to bring back a few things to practice to make sure we work on for the conference season.”
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