Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Softball builds conference momentum

The Plattsburgh State softball team is coming off a successful first weekend against conference opponents New Paltz and Oneonta.

After weeks of trying to work around the weather, postponed games and early morning indoor practices, the Cardinals (13-9, 3-1 SUNYAC) proved themselves to their respective conference by winning three of their first four SUNYAC matchups.

PSUC split the doubleheader with New Paltz and then went on to sweep the doubleheader against Oneonta the very next day.

“It was really important that we had played those two games against RPI (Rensselaer Polytech Institute) last week to shake the dust off,” head coach Stephanie Conroy said. “We’re practicing hard, and we should be good to go for this upcoming weekend.”

The Cards were led in large part due to the SUNYAC conference players of the week freshman catcher Jennifer Groat and senior pitcher Morgan Anderson.

“It’s great to see some accolades, and as a group, we know that we’re talented,” Conroy said. “It doesn’t change anything for them. It just gives us a reason to keep going. People are looking at our stats, and it shows that if you work hard, then you are rewarded for that hard work.”

Over the weekend, Anderson picked up another complete game victory on the season while surrendering only three runs against Oneonta in the first game of the Cards doubleheader.

“Even though we did lose the first game against our conference, coming back and winning the next three really shows a lot and shows that we are here to compete,” Anderson said. “I feel like it’s going to make everyone in the SUNYAC look at us again.”

Anderson is the only senior on the roster this year and has learned a lot about leadership over her first three years with the team.

“I do see myself as a leader, and I try to push my teammates in the right direction, and I try to make them love the game enough to want to be here for four years as well,” Anderson said.

Anderson emphasized the young talent on the team and how even some of the freshmen act like leaders on and off the field, which is important for PSUC for the years to come.

Freshman catcher Jennifer Groat was placed in left field last weekend against SUNYAC opponents, but continued to swing a consistent bat in the lineup for the Cards.

“It’s exciting, and I’m happy that I can contribute to the team’s wins,” Groat said. “I think we’re meshing very well as a team, which is really important.”

At the end of their first weekend of conference matchups, the Cards walked away with a 3-1 record in SUNYAC play and had two players named conference players of the week.

Winning three of their first four conference games of the season is always impressive, but it also catapults the team in the right direction for its upcoming weekend against another pair of conference opponents: Brockport and Geneseo.

“We are going to approach them as if we were approaching anyone else in the conference and just play our best,” Conroy said. “We’re just excited to have the opportunity to play in general, but especially at home. And it’s supposed to be beautiful out, so we’re also looking forward to playing in warmer weather.”

The Cards will host the Golden Eagles for a doubleheader Friday starting at 3 p.m. followed by another doubleheader against the Knights Saturday beginning at noon.

Email Ezra Kachaturian at ezra.kachaturian@cardinalpointsonline.com

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