Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cards visited by familiar face

Michelle DeFina races the ball to home plate at Cardinal Park in the first game against Potsdam April 10.



By Justin Rushia

The Plattsburgh State’s Women’s Softball team hosted the Potsdam Bears for a doubleheader, who visited with a familiar face in their ranks for a rescheduled SUNYAC opener April 10. 

Potsdam Assistant Coach Kelsy Waite,  a 2023 graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, was an impactful player on the softball team for three years during her time as a Cardinal. For the first time, Waite experienced being on the opposing side of the Cardinals. 

“A lot of girls are still some of my best friends,” Waite said. 

Waite started her career undefeated against her former team by capturing the series with wins of 6-5 and 8-5 over the Cardinals. 

Potsdam Head Coach Brianna Ferchen coached at Plattsburgh from 2018 to 2020. As a Cardinal, Ferchen brought in current Plattsburgh Head Coach Sam Van Dorn. Last year, on a road trip, Ferchen recruited Waite off of Van Dorn’s former roster. 

“Kelsy is an awesome person. It was great to see her out there”, Head Coach Sam Van Dorn said. 


By Collin Bolebruch

Potsdam Assistant Coach and 2023 Plattsburgh graduate Kelsy Waite on April 10.


Play began with unfavorable weather conditions, with rain and cold weather playing a role in both games. The Cardinals started the game the same as the weather — cold — allowing the Bears to score its first two runs off of throwing errors after steals in the first inning. Plattsburgh finished the inning scoreless.

Potsdam kept the bats rolling in the second, scoring on their own accord with a triple to right center field. The Cardinals could not get on the board and remained scoreless.

The Bears kept the big hits coming, scoring off of another triple in the third. Plattsburgh would also allow Potsdam to score off a wild pitch. Plattsburgh could not get on the board to finish off the inning. 

In the fourth and fifth innings, the Bears got its short game rolling with multiple singles and smaller groundouts advancing its runners, allowing it to get in scoring positions. The Cardinal’s bats started to come around at the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring three runs off of a single, a double and a triple, cutting the deficit to five. 

The Cardinals tallied one more run in the bottom of the sixth while keeping the Bear’s bats at bay, making the score 8-5.


Sophomore pitcher Morgan Ormerod pitching during the Cardinals’ first game against the Bears at Cardinal Park April 10.


Both teams remained scoreless, giving Potsdam the 1-0 series lead going into the second game. However, even though the Cardinals lost, it had momentum going into its after a strong few innings to close out the first game.

“After losing the first game, we were hungry to win the second one,” Van Dorn said. 

Plattsburgh kept raking to start the second game of the series, hitting a single that would later turn into a run off of an RBI double shot out to left center. Plattsburgh would also keep its defensive momentum rolling, holding the Bears to another scoreless inning. 

Plattsburgh continued its scoring ways, notching two more runs on the board in the second inning by hitting multiple singles and smart base running. 

“We need to keep the simple plays simple and not overthink things,” Van Dorn said. 

In the top of the third inning, Potsdam snapped its scoreless inning streak by scoring two runs and killing Plattsburgh’s momentum.

The score remained the same until Potsdam broke the scoring silence by scoring an important tying run in the top of the seventh. The Cardinals could not match the equalizer, and the game went into extra innings.

Potsdam came out swinging in the top of the eighth inning, scoring three runs, leaving the Cardinals with a mountain to climb. 

“Ultimately, it comes from the players. I think they did a good job rallying together,” Van Dorn said. 

The Cardinals were not scared to try to climb, starting the inning with a single. During the next at-bat, Plattsburgh earned its first two outs of the inning after a base-runner interference and a runner getting thrown out at second.

While down three runs and with two outs against them, the Cardinals began to show signs of life by hitting a single that advanced a runner to third after a throwing error in the infield. 

Plattsburgh continued its comeback attempt with Mikayla Manalo ripping an RBI single out to left field. Gwen Noll followed in her teammates’ footsteps by hitting an RBI single for herself.

The Cardinals’ climb would end before it reached the peak, hitting a pop-up that was caught by the Bears, giving Potsdam a 6-5 win, winning the series. 

“It felt great getting the win. I can’t stop smiling,” Waite said.

The Cardinals will continue SUNYAC play with a series against Fredonia on Saturday, April 13. 


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