Press-Republican

May 5, 2013

Cortland knocks PSU from tourney


Press-Republican

---- — BROCKPORT — Just like on Friday, Plattsburgh State and Cortland were locked in a 1-1 softball game that stretched into extra innings Saturday.

And just like on Friday, the Cardinals ended up with a gut-wrenching loss.

The Red Dragons scored on an error in the bottom of the ninth to win 2-1 and eliminate Plattsburgh from the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament.

“We definitely fought,” Plattsburgh coach Stephanie Zweig said. “We definitely did everything that we could do. I think that we played two tough games against them, and I’m just real proud of us for putting up a fight.”

Zweig said the game had a similar feel to Cortland’s 13-inning win Friday.

“It definitely had that intensity,” she said. “But I think that we didn’t hit as well as we did (Friday). I definitely give credit to their pitcher for being able to adjust to our hitters.”

Cortland (28-14) went on to edge Geneseo 8-7 in the afternoon, claiming the championship and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs. The full tournament field will be announced at 10 a.m. Monday.

The second-seeded Red Dragons took a lead in the first inning when Diane Cork doubled and then scored on Lucia Meola’s sacrifice fly.

No. 3 seed Plattsburgh (24-16) didn’t put a runner on base the next two innings, but in the top of the fourth, Cortland committed two consecutive errors to give the Cardinals two base runners. The Red Dragons turned a double play after that, but then Kristine Gay scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

Cortland stranded two runners in the sixth, and neither team got much going in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings.

Erin Wolstenholme drew a walk to start the bottom of the ninth, and when Nicole Gallo bunted and the throw to first glanced off a glove and into the outfield, Wolstenholme raced home to end the game.

“It was a really tough way to end it,” Zweig said. “But it’s just like we scored our one run off a wild pitch — it was who’s going to make a mistake at the wrong time.”

Gay led off the game with a single, and the Cardinals didn’t get another hit the rest of the way. Amber Corrigan, who was also the winning pitcher on Friday, struck out four and walked two in nine innings.

“She just has really good spin on the ball,” Zweig said. “I think that she just knew how to throw to our batters. You learn after playing each other five times.”

Jamie Bucci and Cassie Kardias each had two hits for the Red Dragons.

Ashley Marshall went the distance for Plattsburgh. She allowed six hits and had four strikeouts and two walks. Marshall pitched nearly 18 innings on Friday, and Zweig said the senior “did a phenomenal job” Saturday. The Malone native finishes her career holding 14 pitching records. She went 83-24 in four years at Plattsburgh and threw 996 strikeouts.

Brittany Marshall and Ashley Marshall made the All-Tournament Team.

“I think we can learn a lot from the season,” Zweig said. “There were a lot of ups and downs, and we had to keep in mind that we have to get ready for next year when we don’t have Ashley. We know what we have to work on.

“I’m happy the seniors were able to contribute the way they did and still make the season as good as it was at the end.”

Cortland 2, Plattsburgh State 1 (9)

Plattsburgh 000 100 000 — 1 1 2

Cortland 100 000 001 — 2 6 2

A. Marshall and Tenney. Corrigan and Gallo. WP- Corrigan. LP- Gallo. 2B- Cork (Cort).