The Plattsburgh State softball team began its SUNYAC and home schedules last week, finishing with a 3-2 record against the College at Brockport (8-8, 0-2), SUNY Geneseo (12-4, 1-1) and Middlebury College (7-4) over the course of the week.
The Cardinals (9-10, 3-1) will travel on the road for SUNYAC conference games for the first time this season when they visit SUNY Cortland (8-9, 1-1) Sunday for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. and then visit Oswego State (8-6, 1-1) the following day for another doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.
Junior catcher Jennifer Groat won her second SUNYAC Player of the Week for the season.
Groat hit 7-11 for a .636 batting average, hit three RBIs, batted two doubles and scored four runs.
“I just got to keep doing what I’m doing so I can keep helping my team getting Ws.” Groat said.
Groat is playing with a lot of expectations as the team’s leader in offensive production, but said, “I can’t play with all of that on my shoulders. I’d put too much pressure on myself, I just have to play the way I know how.”
PSUC’s home opener started inauspiciously for senior starting right-handed pitcher Katie Pitkin after hitting the first Brockport batter she faced with a pitch.
Pitkin would pitch four more innings and allow four runs on seven hits while walking six batters before head coach Stephanie Conroy replaced her with senior RHP Taylor Smith as the team trailed the Golden Eagles 4-0.
The Cards rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning and completed a comeback win with all five of their runs scored in the bottom of the fifth.
“It had been a couple weeks since the team has faced live pitching,” Conroy said. “So our batters were going to need a little bit of time to get back into the swing of that, but once they got going, I thought they did a really good job.”
Senior outfielder Amanda Tantillo kicked off the rally with a double to right-center field. PSUC’s next two batters struck out before junior third baseman Amy Glashoff reached base after being hit by a pitch.
Junior shortstop Kaitlyn Preiss hit a single, leaving the bases loaded for senior outfielder, Dominique Zummo.
With one out remaining in the inning, Zummo singled to left field. While Preiss advanced to second base, Tantillo and Glashoff scored.
Junior catcher Jennifer Groat followed the team’s hitting streak with another single and advanced to second after an off-target throw that let Preiss score and Zummo advance to third.
Smith delivered the go-ahead double to right-center field, allowing Zummo and Groat to score, making the game 5-4 Cardinals.
Smith pitched the remaining two innings and allowed only one hit while striking out three hitters and earning the win.
PSUC carried its momentum into the second game of the doubleheader by obtaining an early 6-0 lead. The Cards didn’t let Brockport score a single run while sophomore RHP Rhea Pitkin gave up only one hit.
“My arm is killing me,” Rhea Pitkin said of her 5-strike-out outing.“But it felt really good to come out strong for [my] first game in the SUNYACs this season.”
The Cards split their next two games the following day against Geneseo and lost a game against Middlebury College 4-3 of what was scheduled to be a doubleheader before sleet forced officials to cancel game two.
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