The Plattsburgh State softball team (21-15) returned back to their dominant ways this past week against Potsdam and Middlebury College.

The Cardinals went a stellar 3-1 over the week by splitting their series against Potsdam and sweeping their series against Middlebury College. With the end of the regular season quickly approaching, the Cards must shift focus onto the playoffs.

“Throughout this entire season, no matter the outcome of the games, everyone on this team has one another’s backs,” sophomore catcher Jennifer Groat said. “With this family mentality, we are able to help each other stay positive on the bad days.”

That family mentality has given the Cards an extra push that all contending teams need during the tail end of the season. During their series against the Potsdam Bears, their resiliency was on full display.

PSUC’s batting and pitching were clicking on all cylinders as they went on to win 8-0 in the first game of the doubleheader.

Freshman pitcher Rhea Pitkin was stellar on the mound for the Cards in game one. Pitkin pitched a complete game shutout against the Bears giving up only two hits and three walks. Her performance was just another one of the dominant starts that she’s had all season.

Junior outfielder Dominique Zummo and sophomore third baseman Amy Glashoff led the way offensively for the Cards with two hits each. With their game one win, the Cards extended their winning streak against Potsdam to 12 games.

However, in game two, that resiliency did not show up for PSUC.

Junior pitcher Kaite Pitkin had an irregular performance on the mound, straying away from the standard she’s delivered all season. In five innings of work, Pitkin gave up six hits and three runs, but managed to strikeout five batters.

During the fourth inning, Pitkin gave up a two-run home run that gave Potsdam the lead, one that they didn’t give up.

With the Cards dropping this game against the Bears 2-3, the Cardinals’ 12 game winning streak game to an end against the Bears.

“We go into each day with the mindset to play Cardinal softball, which means being loud, confident, supportive, having fun and giving your all as a player,” sophomore second baseman Anna Fisher said. ”When the postseason comes around we’ll be ready.”

After their split against the Potsdam Bears, the Cards knew they had to make a statement.

Zummo was locked and loaded for this series as she was at 99 career hits entering the contest. In the sixth inning, she hit a bases clearing double to put the Cards on top 5-3.

Freshman catcher Haleigh Agnas continues her strong season by going a perfect 4-4, a crucial part to the Cards game one 5-4 victory.

In game two, the Middlebury Panthers put major pressure on the PSUC defense and pitching.

A surge in the seventh inning from the Panthers had the Cards’ back against the wall.

Junior pitcher Tyler Smith managed to stop the Panther’s comeback, securing the season sweep against Middlebury improving their record to 21-15.

“We also just are able to have a lot of fun together. In the dugout, we are laughing, having a good time, making new cheers and winning,” Groat said. “This is key to our success.”

The Cards are currently tied with third in the SUNYAC conference, and with Buffalo State and Fredonia coming into town this weekend, the Cards have a perfect opportunity to clinch a high seed for the playoffs.

Weekend play kicks off against the Buffalo State Bengals Friday at Cardinal Park starting at 3 p.m.

Email John Peralta at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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