What a difference a year can make.
The Plattsburgh State softball team ended the regular season last year with a conference record of 5-13. Now, with only one opponent left to play on the 2016 regular season schedule, the Cardinals (23-15) have a SUNYAC record of 11-5 and have the opportunity Saturday to completely flip-flop their conference record from a year ago.
“We’re a tough team ourselves, and no matter who we play in conference, there are going to be tough games,” head coach Stephanie Conroy said. “It helps us prepare for the playoffs.”
After losing both games on the road against Cortland to start the team’s eight-game road trip last week, the Cards bounced back in full force as they went on to sweep Oswego State and Fredonia the following two days.
Freshman third baseman Amy Glashoff has been a clutch bat in the lineup for the Cards, as she, again, came through with the go-ahead two-run double against Buffalo State in the eighth inning to secure the extra-inning victory.
“It feels really good,” Glashoff said. “This was our last weekend until the postseason, so I think we ended on a good note.”
It is not only a confidence booster performing well against conference opponents this late in the season, but it also gave the Cards a taste of what the atmosphere will be like with the playoffs right around the corner.
“We learned that we need to stay intense all the time, never underestimate a team and just stay strong,” freshman shortstop Kaitlyn Preiss said, who also emphasized the importance of the experience of the upperclassmen on the team during the final leg of the season.
As the regular season comes to an end, PSUC will look to finish out the year strong and play well for all the seniors on the team.
“We’re all excited to support Morgan Anderson for her senior day on Saturday,” Preiss said, regarding their final regular season game. “We are definitely looking for two wins to finish strong for the season and to carry that momentum into the playoffs.”
With the way this season has transpired, the Cards have their eyes on the postseason and are looking to finish the season without any distractions from what lies ahead.
Despite the two losses to the Middlebury Panthers Wednesday, PSUC is still in a good place heading into its final conference meeting of the season, and focus will be key for the entire team.
“The girls are just keeping their heads up, staying positive and making sure that every day when we come to the ballpark, no matter the opponent, that we bring our best,” Conroy said after losing to Middlebury. “We can definitely learn from today, move forward and work hard at practice the next couple of days and get ready to play Saturday.”
It will certainly be a test to their experience coming into the postseason for the freshmen-filled roster, but Conroy is confident that her ball club will perform well and not lose the momentum they have created throughout the season.
“The focus is just one game at a time while putting our best foot forward, having fun with it and making sure that we have a positive and competitive weekend,” Conroy said.
With the regular season coming to an end, PSUC will host the Potsdam Bears tomorrow at noon and 2 p.m. for its final two conference meetings of the regular season.
Email Ezra Kachaturian at email@example.com