The Plattsburgh State softball team will take the field for a double-header matchup against conference opponents Fredonia State this afternoon and then will square off against the Buffalo State Saturday at noon, with both series on the road.
The Cardinals have not played since their spring break in Clermont, Florida, which could have the potential to diminish the winning momentum following the successful week, however, PSUC head coach Stephanie Conroy believes this team is ready to impress.
“We are definitely ready to play again, and we’re excited to play again,” Conroy said. “We’ve taken the time to practice and work on the things we felt necessary to work on after our 10 days in Florida, so we feel prepared going in and we’re just excited to get the opportunity to play again.”
In order to prepare for these opening games on the road following their near two weeks off after their stay in Florida, Conroy has been trying her hardest to work with the unpredictable Plattsburgh weather so they can practice outside to be ready for the cold, early-April Northeastern climate – a little bit different than what Florida has to offer.
“We’ve been practicing either inside or on the turf, so we expected that it was going to be tough to get out on our field at this point,” Conroy said. “At this point, we aren’t usually practicing on our fields, so we’re not at a disadvantage there. We’re using our facilities to our advantage and making sure we’re getting the things done that we need to get done at practice.”
Unfortunately, Plattsburgh, New York, is not Clermont, Florida.
“We just have to prepare for the cold weather,” junior catcher Hope VanBrocklin said. “It’s a lot different, especially when you come in from 90 degree weather every day, to 28 degrees, freezing and snowing.”
The general consensus from the team is that they are more than ready for what this weekend has in store for them against the Blue Devils and Bengals, feeling more confident than ever.
“We watched Fredonia play in Florida,” sophomore outfielder Dominique Zummo said. “We’re a bigger team this year, and we have the players who have the passion and drive to get it done.”
Regardless of the fact that this PSUC softball team is younger than previous years, the overall talent on the roster is tremendous. It is also quite apparent that the team also gets along with one another very well and displays good team chemistry.
“It’s a learning experience,” sophomore catcher and third baseman Jackie Decker said. “So far, it’s been really good because everyone has been really working hard and are excited to be here every single day.”
With the ample time off between Florida and this weekend’s slate of games on the road, one would think that the extra rest could be detrimental to the roster. However with practices at 6:30 a.m. every morning, whether outside or in the gym, the team feels confident heading into this weekend.
“We are going in with the same momentum as we had leaving Florida,” Zummo said. “We’re just trying to stay focused in practice and keep up the energy for this weekend.”
With a winning streak of six games coming into the weekend, the Cards seem to have the early season jitters in the rear view mirror after starting the season losing their first four games.
“It was a big learning opportunity for us to get those little mistakes out of the way and really build off that,” Decker said, “and then we started to get the bats going and saw the strong team dynamics.”
Right now, PSUC is in a much better spot than they were in last season. With a record of 8-6 and ready to start conference play, the Cards have a good feeling about this season and seasons to come.
Email Ezra Kachaturian at email@example.com