The Plattsburgh State softball team plays a short season annually, but often the weather conditions condense it further. Lingering snow affects the field, leading to canceled and postponed games.
Plattsburgh natives senior pitcher Kristin Fisher and freshman utility player Evelyn Vicencio are no strangers to the seemingly never-ending winters of the North Country.
“Being from around here, I know the weather, but it’s ruthless sometimes,” Vicencio said. “It just doesn’t let up.”
The Cardinals’ home opener, doubleheaders against Buffalo State and Fredonia April 3 and 4, became road games when the field at Cardinal Park still wasn’t ready. Further schedule changes came when Buffalo’s field was unsuitable. The two teams played the doubleheader up the road at D’Youville College in unspring-like conditions.
“This past weekend, it was really super cold,” Fisher said. “I kind of was prepared for it and brought my mittens and my hat.”
D’Youville’s field presented a challenge with its unfamiliar terrain, which the Cards had to adapt to. Sophomore catcher Hope VanBrocklin said the turf at the neutral site was completely different for the team, as they’re used to playing on dirt. The following day at Fredonia introduced another complication, but one PSUC is familiar with.
“We had to wait probably a good solid hour for them to get the fields ready because it was freezing,” VanBrocklin said.
Poor weather conditions pushed a doubleheader with Potsdam, originally scheduled for April 7, back to April 14. The recent change is the fourth postponement for that doubleheader. Non-conference games, like the canceled matchup against Union April 8, fail to get rescheduled as SUNYAC games take precedence.
VanBrocklin said above all, she and the team are here to play softball and traveling is something the team has to do.
Persisting inclement weather forces the Cards to practice in the Fieldhouse gym with a surface significantly unlike the dirt of a real softball field. The ball moves differently when it hits off a gym floor than off a real field.
Vicencio said the Florida trip provided the team with a head start on getting used to grass. Vicencio and the team have to adjust to the transition.
“It’s an adjustment, but I think our team is working through it and making the best of it,” Vicencio said.
With the continuation of poor field conditions at home, there is the small possibility the Cards won’t host any games at Cardinal Park this season. Fisher, one of two seniors, said she hopes to play at home before it’s over, but the weather can’t be controlled.
“It’s sad because I’ll never get to play another game (here), but as long as we play, I really couldn’t care less,” Fischer said. “I just want to play the game.”
Email Jess Huber at jess.huber@cardinal