Sunday, May 19, 2024

Groat stars in freshman season

This season, the Plattsburgh State women’s softball team has seen veteran-like play from freshman catcher Jennifer Groat.

At the conclusion of regular season play, the first year catcher and first basemen has put up some serious numbers. She leads the Cards with a .426 batting average, leads the team in triples with five and is ranked second behind teammate Amanda Tantillo in RBI’s with 35.

Groat’s softball career started at an early age, as she was a participant in her local tee-ball league. As time went on, she transitioned to regular baseball. However, she was inspired by her older sister to make the change to softball.

When Groat entered high school, she expanded her athletic horizons, playing three sports and earning eight varsity letters between volleyball, basketball and softball. PSUC head coach Stephanie Conroy believes Groat’s participation in these three sports is beneficial to her play on the field.

“I think it helps in general with her athleticism,” Conroy said. “She’s got a ton of speed, and she’s just a heads-up athlete in general.”

Groat also earned individual honors in the three sports, as she was named the MVP of her softball team her senior year and was also awarded the Suburban Council Exceptional Senior award in basketball. Despite being so successful in all three sports, when it came time to pursue just one sport in college, the choice was easy for Groat.

“Softball has always been my passion,” Groat said. “It’s my number one sport, and I’ve played it the longest out of the three.”

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There are many aspects of the game Groat has come to love, however, there is one in particular that stands out, which is hitting. It makes sense that this is her favorite part of the game, as she has become great at it. This is something all of her teammates recognize.

“She has a great swing,” sophomore second baseman Amanda Tantillo said. “It’s so smooth and has a lot of power behind it too.”

When Groat is not playing softball, she still has a lot going on. There is never a dull moment. Whether it be playing basketball or skiing, Groat always looks to challenge herself. In fact, this past winter, Groat attempted snowboarding for the first time at Williard Mountain, in Easton, New York.

When it comes to her studies, Groat is dedicated to her major in education. More specifically, Groat has gravitated toward the special education sanction of this field.

“I’ve always loved working with kids,” Groat said. “I’m also really interested in being able to educate myself on how others learn.”

Looking forward, there are three years left to add to the impressive career Groat has had thus far. The freshman has already been honored with a SUNYAC Player of the Week, which is impressive for being a rookie. She will continue to strive to be the best softball player that she can possibly be, and the game will continue to be her passion.

“She just loves softball and pretty much everything else revolves around that love,” Conroy said.

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