Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Success about more than record

The Plattsburgh State softball team faced a short season in which success had to come early and often.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals’ current record of 10-20 overall and 5-11 in conference does not reflect that. The record also doesn’t show how the team has clicked in recent games. In the last six contests, PSUC has won four.

The young team has found late success behind senior pitcher Kristin Fisher, who tossed a seven-inning shutout and struck out four in the second game of the doubleheader against Brockport April 18, but she doesn’t take full credit for the win. Fisher said head coach Stephanie Conroy and catcher Hope VanBrocklin made all the right calls in terms of pitches and that all three were on the same page for the entire game.

“All my pitches were moving,” Fisher said. “They just couldn’t hit the pitches I was throwing at them, and when they did hit them, I had a great defense behind me to help me get through it.”

Fisher isn’t the only player finding success deep in the season for the Cards.

Freshman outfielder Dominique Zummo scored six runs in the last six games, with three coming in game two of the doubleheader against Potsdam April 14. The Cards have struggled with scoring early in games. Zummo said they have been working on hitting to combat the issue.

“We usually break open towards the end to catch up,” Zummo said. “So, we’re really focusing on hitting to start opening the scoring in the first inning instead of saving it for the end.”

One player stands out each game, but it’s not always the same one. Fisher led the team to a 4-0 victory over Brockport Saturday, while Zummo steered the team to victories over Potsdam just days before with a double, a triple, an RBI and three runs scored. Conroy said the players work well together and get better with each game.

“I think it has a lot to do with just the positivity and being able to feed off of each other,” Conroy said, “and really understanding that they are there for each other, and they’re not there just for themselves.”

The Cards will face Cortland in what will be their home opener and senior day. The Red Dragons currently sit second in the SUNYAC. In preparation for the final games of the season, Fisher is resting up and hoping the team can get the job done.

“Hopefully my pitches will be moving that day,” Fisher said, “and the team can make everything click like we did last weekend.”

Fisher said the team needs to take each game one inning at a time, something her coach agrees with. Conroy said the players need to focus on playing their best game and not focus on who they are facing.

“Against Cortland, it doesn’t matter,” Conroy said. “If we are playing Potsdam or Cortland, we need to be able to bring the same team to the table.”

Email Jess Huber at jess.huber@cardinalpointsonline.com

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