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March 15, 2013

Season to heat up fast for Cardinals

The Plattsburgh State softball team is kicking off the 2013 season in Florida, where it will face three teams it met in the NCAA tournament last year.

Starting this morning against Ramapo, Plattsburgh will play 12 games in seven days at the National Training Center Spring Games in Clermont, Fla.

Plattsburgh is coming off a season where it went 35-11 and reached the NCAA Division III Softball Championship finals.

This afternoon, the Cardinals will play Keene State, which they defeated for an NCAA regional title last year. Other opponents at the Spring Games include Amherst, which was also at the regional tournament, and Tufts, which beat them in the finals.

Coach Stephanie Zweig said the Cardinals aren’t really worried about who they’re playing.

“I’m hoping that we‘ve worked really hard not to set expectations, just focus on key things like working together, being an offensive powerhouse,” Zweig said. “Little things that have little to do with the opponent and are just about us. We’re just trying to keep it to our game.”

Plattsburgh returns starters at a number of key positions, including pitcher, where All-American Ashley Marshall is back for her senior season. But the Cardinals lost five seniors and have seven freshmen on the roster.

“I think we have some key players still with us like Ashley, and they make us more experienced than ever,” Zweig said. “Having players still here that went through last year, the seniors and juniors, is helping the team work out the kinks early on.”

One hole Plattsburgh has to fill is at catcher, where Erin Florkiewicz played last year. Besides being strong defensively, the senior hit .376 with 41 hits and 25 RBI. Zweig said junior Sam Tenney, a Morrisonville native, will catch this season. Tenney played a few games last year.

Likewise, senior Kristin Nabor will step into an outfield spot after playing just three games last season.

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