Plattsburgh State’s softball season has come to a close after Monday’s losses against SUNY Brockport. The team also split a double header Sunday against Geneseo.
The Cardinals played hard this season and overcame adversity along the way. PSUC started the year with only two freshmen pitchers and were desperate for more talent.
Head coach John Flynn asked seniors Kaitlyn Preiss and Jennifer Groat to step up and learn to pitch.
“Pitching was a little nerve-racking, but I did it,” Preiss said. “Now I can check it off my bucket list.”=
Both seniors played multiple positions throughout the year and adding pitching was a challenge. Groat pitched 34 innings for the Cards, while Preiss pitched eight. These two versatile players did anything and everything they could do to help their team.
“It’s definitely gonna be tough losing the seniors because they were such a big part of the program,” freshman Alex McKearin said.
In addition to new positions, PSUC lost its head coach Stephanie Conroy at the beginning of this academic school year. The assistant coach, John Flynn, stepped up and was announced the head coach early in the fall semester.
“He carried over a lot of the same traditions and pre-game rituals, so honestly it wasn’t that big of a change,” Groat said about Flynn. “It was a very positive environment.”
Sunday, PSUC faced SUNY Geneseo with both teams earning a win and a loss.
The Knights were ranked second in the SUNYAC before its game with PSUC Sunday. The team’s one win and loss pushed them to the top of SUNYAC and pushing PSUC to the number seven spot.
The top six teams will advance to the SUNYAC tournament, which means that the Cards’ season has come to a close. Their goal for this season was to make it to the tournament, but the team fell just short.
In game one against Geneseo, PSUC did not give up and ultimately won the game with a score of 12-11.
“We played really well against Geneseo,” Groat said. “It was some of our best games of the entire season.”
Freshman Hannah Fuerst earned the pitching win in four innings of play. She scattered 12 hits with only six runs earned, along with one walk and one strikeout.
The bats were on fire Sunday with Preiss recording two doubles along with Groat, McKearin, and sophomore Bella Spadinger, who also recorded doubles in game one.
In the bottom of the first, the Knights scored two runs. The start of the next inning opened with Spadinger hitting a homerun, plating two runs to tie up the game.
The wild scoring game continued with the Knights earning five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning leaving the score 11-8 with SUNY Geneseo in the lead. In the top of the seventh, PSUC pushed past the Knights for good with four additional runs plated.
Preiss batted the last hit, leading the Cards to victory tallying 12-11.
Game two was a close contest, but did not end in PSUC’s favor. The team lost the game 4-3 after a tie in the seventh inning.
Finally, the Cards made it on the board in the fourth inning when Preiss sent senior Anna Fisher home. In the sixth inning, McKearin came up with a two-run single, bringing the team to a tied ball game in the seventh.
After an out by PSUC in the bottom of the seventh, Geneseo’s Danni Napoli hit a ball to left field, scoring the winning run for the Knights.
Monday, the Cards played SUNY Brockport with a devastating loss in the seventh inning after a tied ball game. The score was 8-8 leading into the bottom of the seventh, but a walk with bases loaded gave the Golden Eagles the win.
During the game, Groat hit three doubles with four overall hits in the game. Preiss and McKearin both recorded doubles in game one.
In game two, PSUC let SUNY Brockport get the best of them as they lost the game 14-0. After the fifth inning, the game was stopped due to the run rule, which is when a team is at least eight runs over the other at the fifth inning, ending the game.
Both Groat and Preiss pitched one last time for the Cards Monday. Fuerst also picked up the pitching loss for the game.
The team is happy with all it was able to accomplish this year, despite falling short of a postseason appearance.
“We are all happy with the bonds we created with each other,” Preiss said. “We were a pretty close team, and we had fun all season.”
The season may not have gone as planned for PSUC, but they look forward to a clean slate next year. As for the seniors, they all had a successful year and instilled their knowledge of the game onto the younger players in hopes to carry them to victory in the upcoming years.
“We put in a lot of hard work,” McKearin said. “We really did fight up to the very last game.”