Friday, February 26, 2021

Schedule congestion builds up in final week

Three rescheduled series from earlier this month has left the Plattsburgh State softball team with 14 games within the next week and a road trip that will see the team travel over 900 miles throughout New York. 

The Cardinals have dropped from their leading position in the SUNYAC standings to sixth place in a week in what was no fault of their own, as they were unable to play any games due to poor playing conditions.  

Inclement weather postponed two road doubleheaders in Fredonia and Cortland, leaving PSUC to travel to Buffalo tomorrow, Fredonia the next day, Cortland Monday and then finally back to Plattsburgh, where the Cards will play the rest of their season.   

“Right now we have to be as mentally patient as we possibly can be and just be ready when given the opportunity to play,” said Stephanie Conroy, head coach. “For us, it’s trying to go into games as if we just played two days ago.”

Conroy looks at the team’s upcoming strenuous schedule in a positive light to help mentally prepare the team. 

“Going on the road can almost be easier because you can just show up and play,” she said, “You don’t have to put in the work to get the field ready. You also don’t have the distraction of going to classes on the Friday before the games.” 

PSUC’s road doubleheader at Buffalo State tomorrow marks the second time since returning from Florida this season the team will be facing a SUNYAC opponent away from Cardinal Park. 

The team’s pitching staff will likely be the most taxed in the final stretch of the season, but senior right-handed pitcher Katie Pitkin isn’t overly concerned about the upcoming schedule. 

“We’ve done it before,” she said.

While the Cards did play 14 games, or just over 25 percent of their schedule, in Kissimmee, Florida, on one complex of fields, PSUC will have to play just under 50 percent of its schedule over the course of a week at four fields across New York State. 

For the team to succeed on its upcoming road trip, it’ll likely need good performances throughout from its number one offensive option and a .562 batter on the season, junior catcher Jennifer Groat. Groat isn’t entering Buffalo State with 100 percent confidence, though. 

“I feel like I’ve been feeling off lately,” she said. “I’m just hoping we can head into Buffalo and I get comfortable in the box.“

The team’s upcoming week is vital for the Cards. Performing well can clinch a postseason spot in the SUNYAC tournament for the team, but a poor showing can mean elimination for PSUC – all in one week.

“We’re excited to go on the road because it’s only our second time doing that this season,” Conroy said. “And we’re also excited to just take advantage of the opportunity to play in good weather.” 

Email Fernando Alba at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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