NCAA Bound and Down
SUNYAC champs’ first NCAA regional game postponed
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 22:05
The Plattsburgh State softball team’s first game of the NCAA Regional tournament in Amherst, Mass. was rained out Thursday.
No. 2 PSUC (31-9) was set to play No. 7 University of New England at 4 p.m. Thursday but will now play the Nor’Easters at a time to be determined today. Additional information about the tournament can be found at www.amherst.edu/athletics.
While its first regional game was pushed back, PSUC already has one title under its belt — the 2012 SUNYAC Championship.
It was a season that started off in Florida during spring break, where the Lady Cards started off 8-5.
Head coach Stephanie Zweig said she felt that was big part of the season was coming out on top in Florida.
“I felt that coming out with a winning record against strong teams in Florida really shows that we can be a dominant team this year,” Zweig said. “We just need to take it one game at a time.”
One game at a time was season’s theme and working on the mental aspect of the game was a big part of team’s success this season. The team was so focused with working on the mental aspect of the game that Zweig brought in a sports therapist to help out the team this season.
The team had the starting pitching to be successful, led by Heather Loughran and Ashley Marshall. Marshall said that the pitching staff did exactly what it expected to do this season.
The hitting at times this year wasn’t where it needed to be, as team’s batting average at was near the bottom of the SUNYAC at one point in the season.
Brianna Clarke said that the team picked it up when it was needed and it peaked at the right time.
“I felt down the stretch we all just started hitting better,” said Clarke. “I think it was just a matter of time
before we knew as a team that we were better. We just weren’t hitting at all, and it was fustrating because we knew as a team this was supposed to be our year and we had to show it.”
One of the Lady Cards’ key victories came April 21, when they traveled to take on rival Cortland. Cortland had a 53-game regular season winning streak. That all ended when PSUC took the first game from the Red Dragons, 6-0.
Zweig said after that game she knew had something special with this team.
“Beating Cortland in Cortland was just a great feeling for us, and it gave us the confidence I think we needed because at the time our hitting was still struggling a bit and we went into their home field and beat them,” she said. “For this team to do something as hard as that, I couldn’t have been more proud of them.”
With Marshall and Michelle Iannone coming in as freshmen, Plattsburgh fans got a chance to see the future infield with Marshall leading the way at shortstop and Iannone at third base along with sophomores Brianna Clarke and Kayla Rabideau.
With senior day came the final home games for Heather Loughran, Allison Smiddy, Erin Florkiewicz, Katie McNally and Dana Mandery. Zweig said it is going to be tough to replace the seniors.
“To replace these seniors will be difficult, but will be up for the challenge,” said Zweig. “You can’t ask for a better group, and these five have worked so hard from day one and it paid off for them in the end.”
With the start of SUNYACs came a guarantee from Clarke that the team would take home a title.