The Plattsburgh State softball team returned from a progressive start in Florida this recent Spring break, stopping at Leesburg, Minneola and Kissimmee.

After going 8-6 a year ago, the Cardinals return from Florida with an even keel record of 8-8. Team defense and adjusting the depth charts were of main priority during the trip, all of which are looking potent so far. The team’s chemistry however, was the biggest bright spot of the trip.

After dropping five straight games, the Cards showed resilience against their sluggish play by winning the next six of eight games.

“We have good depth with the amount of different players that are able to step up when called upon,” junior outfielder Dominique Zummo said. “Within the week, we found ourselves and that was the icing on the cake.”

Junior pitcher Katie Pitkin was also one of the bright spots from the successful trip. Pitkin was able to secure the SUNYAC softball pitcher of the week award by going 4-1 and posting an efficient 1.98 earned run average (ERA).

Senior shortstop Kaitlyn Preiss’ also had a good week, as her hard work off the field has paid dividends already in the early season, and is excited with this team’s direction.

“I love the level of talent we have this year,” Preiss said.

PSUC’s roster primarily consists of

seasoned veterans, with nine of the 17 women being upperclassmen.

“Building a family oriented environment is important to the team’s success,” junior catcher Jackie Decker said. “The junior class especially rely on each other.”

Contributions were made from top to bottom so far, and it’s going to be needed throughout the season if they expect to go farther than last year.

Junior pitcher Taylor Smith also pitched an impressive week on the mound for the Cards. In eight games of work, she posted a 1.88 ERA. Batters didn’t have a chance hitting off of her, as her opposing hitters only had a batting average of .205.

Preiss, Dominique Zummo and junior outfielder Amanda Tantillo were the heart of a potent PSUC lineup during their trip to Florida. The three collected 54 of the 96 total hits for the Cards, which is a sign for great things to come from these three this season.

“We saw how much depth we had, which propelled us,” Preiss said. “We played a lot of tough teams, so using the motivation from the wins and losses are huge factors for us.”

With the SUNYAC conference presenting a challenge every year, the Cards are all in despite its notoriously tough competition.

“All the way,” Zummo said about their goals. “We want that championship.”

With that attitude, PSUC is on the right path to do even bigger things this year.

The Cards will make their SUNYAC season debut on March 31 in a doubleheader against the Red Dragons in Oneonta at 3 p.m.

Email John Peralta at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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