As the season winds down, the Plattsburgh State softball team is looking for a strong finish from its junior standout pitcher Katie Pitkin.

Born and raised in Dexter, New York, Pitkin started her softball career after making the switch from baseball to softball in the seventh grade.

“I think my father is my biggest influence on why I stuck with softball,” Pitkin said. “He was my baseball coach all throughout my baseball career and when I decided to play softball, he made the switch with me.”

Head coach Stephanie Conroy was very interested in Pitkin coming out of high school, but wasn’t able to get the outstanding pitcher to come to PSUC right away.

“We were recruiting Katie along with a couple of her teammates from the start,” Conroy said. “As we successfully recruited her teammates, we were unable to convince Katie to attend Plattsburgh.”

Pitkin had her own reason on why she chose Cortland over PSUC at first.

“I chose to attend Cortland mainly because it was closer to my home,” Pitkin said. “Coming out of high school I wanted to stay closer to home. Plattsburgh was so far, so I basically crossed it off on colleges to attend.”

As Pitkin was in her sophomore year at Cortland, she decided she wanted to find a new home to finish her softball career.

“One of the main reasons I wanted to leave was I was not enjoying softball anymore under the atmosphere the coaches put on us as players. There was a feeling that if you didn’t perform well in practice you could get cut from the team,” Pitkin said. “A couple of girls I played with in high school had come to Plattsburgh and after talking to them I thought it would be a good fit for me.”

Conroy is looking forward to working with the transfer to bring Pitkin’s game to next level.

“Being a tall, strong pitcher, Katie has a lot of potential moving forward,” Conroy said. “I think Katie has seen that she needed to work a little harder to get the results she wanted and she dedicates the extra time to get to that next level.”

Pitkin is appreciative of the things she learns from her coaches.

“At Cortland, the pitching coach only focused on the mental aspect of the game which I didn’t think helped me a lot while I was there,” Pitkin said. “With Conroy being a pitcher, she knows everything I’m going through on the mound which helps me lot. She has helped me adjust my curve ball and she helped me add a new pitch that I did not have prior to coming here.”

After experiencing Red Dragon softball, Pitkin is much happier to be a Cardinal.

“The team is definitely more relaxed here compared to the scared feeling at Cortland,” Pitkin said. “Overall, I think the coaches are more involved and help out a lot more which is what you want to see as a player.”

Playing softball has taught Pitkin more than just how to throw a curve ball.

“I think the game of softball has taught me to be patient and has taught me to work with all different types of people,” Pitkin said. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is how to lead because as a pitcher you have to lead the team and control the game.”

Being a business administration major, Pitkin finds herself spending a lot of time in the library but uses practice time to forget about everything else.

“Our coaches make it a point to focus only on softball during practice time,” Pitkin said. “I like practice because it is a time to forget about school work and everything else going on and just relax, have fun and play softball.”

Conroy is more than happy Pitkin decided to transfer to PSUC, and looks forward to another year with her on the mound.

“It’s awesome to have players like Katie who have great personalities and who are just great people,” Conroy said. “We are looking forward to a great senior year for Katie.”

Email Kyle Espejo at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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