The Plattsburgh State softball team enjoyed a successful week-long stay in Clermont, Florida, winning eight of the fourteen games they played, which is substantially better than the previous two years in Clermont.
After winning only six games combined between the previous two years in the annual Clermont season openers, it is undoubtedly a much better feeling this year finishing the week with a record of 8-6.
“It’s extremely important,” head coach Stephanie Conroy said, “especially, after playing a tough schedule. Coming out with a winning record is really important going into conference play.”
Sophomore infielder and outfielder Amanda Tantillo has showcased her skills already this year, cranking four homeruns and driving in 13 runs in her stay at Clermont.
“We’ve always known that she was a strong player with confidence,” Conroy said about Tantillo. “She helps us win every single day, and that’s all we can ask of her. She has definitely done that while also emerging in big spots and doing what she does best.”
The Cardinals have a primarily young roster this year, with 15 of the 17 girls being either freshmen or sophomores. The team’s youth will bring a lot of energy to the field and in the dugout. So far, the team chemistry seems to be on point.
“It just means even more success in the future,” Conroy said in regard to her young team. “This year, we’ve already been doing well, but every time we watch this team play, we can only imagine what this team will be like with a year or two of experience.”
One of the sophomores on the team this year, a former Cortland Red Dragon, Katie Pitkin, shined bright in her eight appearances over the week, tossing four complete games while maintaining a 2.18 earned-run-average.
“I think it was a great start, definitely,” Pitkin said about the team’s impressive start. “It got everyone’s confidence going for sure.”
The Cards left Florida with a bang, winning the final six games they played. The contributions were everywhere from this ball club, and Conroy expects these contributions to be made throughout the rest of the season, whether it be from a bullpen, catcher or someone who takes the field every day. She said the team feeds off each other.
“Everyone has an impact on the team on and off the field,” Tantillo said. “We know how to play. We’ve been playing since we were eight years old, so we’re just trying to have fun with it.”
The SUNYAC conference this year will possess great competition, but PSUC is poised in how they will perform well against their conference opponents.
“We played a lot of regional teams already,” Tantillo said about the Cards past opponents. “This is only the beginning, and it just shows the potential we have for the conference games to come.”
The Cards don’t return to the field again until they travel to Fredonia to square off against the Blue Devils for a Friday evening doubleheader April 1, with the first game at 3 p.m., followed by a Saturday afternoon doubleheader against Buffalo State beginning at noon.
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