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College Sports

April 19, 2014

Cardinals drop a pair to New Paltz in home opener

PLATTSBURGH — At the end of a back-and-forth game Friday, Plattsburgh State had the tying run on in the bottom of the seventh and one of its top hitters at the plate.

But New Paltz pitcher Katie Rutcofsky got Brittany Marshall to strike out swinging, clinching a 5-4 win, and then the Hawks breezed to a 9-0 five-inning victory in the second half of the SUNY Athletic Conference softball doubleheader at South Acres Field.

The Cardinals led 3-1 after three innings, but a four-run fourth put New Paltz ahead. Plattsburgh coach Stephanie Conroy said her team needed to be a little sharper defensively.

“I think that a couple different plays, it’s a completely different game,” Conroy said. “We gave them more opportunities than they should’ve gotten. So I think that’s really it.”

The Cardinals (6-18, 3-7 SUNYAC) host Oneonta today at South Acres.

Noelle Grande, the second batter of the game, doubled in a run to put New Paltz ahead early. In the third, Nicole Chiarello hit an RBI double and Shelby Heyward added an RBI single to give Plattsburgh a 2-1 edge. Kristine Gay drove in another run before the inning ended.

The Hawks (9-14, 6-5) bounced back with a pair of two-run doubles, the first by Rutcofsky and the second courtesy of Alex Verso. Plattsburgh made it 5-4 when Chiarello reached on an error and scored on a groundout in the fifth.

In the bottom of the seventh, Natasha Schultz pinch hit, delivering a single, and advanced to second on Kayla Rabideau’s sacrifice bunt. After a fly out, Marshall got a chance to be the hero.

“I got up to the plate hungry, like, I was ready to go,” Marshall said. “Was waiting for that one pitch. Couple quick strikes there on me.

“And then I just had a feeling she was going to go high on that last one, and I just couldn’t lay off it.”

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