The Plattsburgh State softball team will lose only two players to graduation this year, but they leave a void that will be difficult to fill next season.
Senior pitcher Kristin Fisher and senior shortstop Brittany Marshall completed their final season in a PSUC uniform April 25, when the team dropped a pair of games to Cortland, the second going to extra innings. Despite the losses on senior day, both players made an impact for the team.
Marshall scored the lone run of the second game and added one RBI in the first. Keeping the Cardinals in game two was Fisher, who pitched all eight innings and struck out four batters. Head coach Stephanie Conroy said losing talent like that will be hard to replace.
“Brittany is a really hard player to even think about trying to replicate, in basketball and in softball, because of the leader that she is and the team player that Kristin was in terms of being there for her teammates and make sure everyone’s doing the right thing,” Conroy said. “Those are things that are really hard to replace.”
Marshall finishes the season with a .375 batting average and 26 runs scored in 32 games played. She attributes the success of her senior season and career at PSUC to, not just her teammates and coaches in both basketball and softball, but her family, especially her sisters. All have pushed Marshall to be the athlete she is now. Older sister Ashley made her mark at PSUC as a strong pitcher, finishing with a career ERA of 1.39, while younger sister Emily sustained an injury that sidelined her before the season began.
“My older sister came here and killed it, so of course I wanted to kill it, too,” Marshall said. “I couldn’t let her have all the glory. This season, (it’s) my younger sister. She (Emily) is the reason I stepped on the field every day.”
Fisher closes out her last season with 58.1 innings pitched, striking out 47.
The success of Marshall and Fisher is more than great coaching and family support. Team chemistry played a key role in team and individual successes. Fisher said the team got really close really fast, which allowed them to work well together and get things done.
The record of 10-22, 5-13 in SUNYAC, gives the impression that the team endured more failure than success, but that is not the case. Eight of the 22 losses were by one or two runs. Scoring runs, Fisher said, was a major concern.
“There were really close games we were there defensively,” Fisher said, “but we’ve just got to be able to score more runs to keep up with the runs they’re scoring on us.”
Moving forward, Conroy anticipates the team will do really well. With seven of nine players on the field being freshmen, the inexperience outweighed talent. Conroy said this season taught the freshmen how to relax in a game and how to win games as a team.
“I think we’re going to do great next year,” Conroy said. “You can’t predict what’s going to happen next year, but at the same time, they have a year of experience that’s going to help them be able to learn from that and play next year.”
Email Jess Huber at email@example.com