April 25, 2014

Cardinals still holding out hope for trip to playoffs

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State is tied for last in the SUNY Athletic Conference softball standings, but the Cardinals are still aiming for the playoffs.

They have six home games this weekend — they’ll play at Cardinal Park for the first time this season — so a surge into the top six spots isn’t impossible.

“I think it’s important for them to know what the outlook is because then it tells them we’re not checking out,” Plattsburgh coach Stephanie Conroy said. “We’re not done yet. This isn’t just like, ‘Oh, this is our last week.’ They have to know that if they work hard and they do what they need to do, we can live to play another day.

“And even though we want to focus on one day at a time, we still have to think about the big picture.”

Conroy said she didn’t have in mind a specific number of wins that they would need to get into next week’s SUNYAC Tournament. New Paltz currently sits in sixth place with a 6-7 conference record. Plattsburgh is 3-9.

The Cardinals (7-21) host Brockport today, followed by Geneseo on Saturday and Potsdam on Sunday.

Plattsburgh has won back-to-back games just once this season but will need to get on roll now to give itself a chance.

“If we win all the games we have left … we’d be 9-9,” senior infielder Brianna Clarke said. “So we would probably just get in there, hopefully. I mean, the SUNYAC’s very unpredictable, so you never know.”

The toughest of their three remaining opponents is up first. Brockport (19-7, 8-4 SUNYAC) is third in the conference and has won eight of its last 10 games. The Golden Eagles swept Fredonia 8-0 and 6-2 on Monday.

Junior infielder Andrea Schell has been one of the top hitters in the conference, and she currently boasts a .456 average, 31 hits and 26 RBI. She has slugged eight home runs.

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