By COURTNEY LEWIS
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The Cardinals held a 2-0 lead throughout Friday’s first game and then quickly found themselves in a 2-0 hole in the second game.
But they answered in the bottom of the first inning and rallied again in the fifth to sweep Buffalo State in a SUNY Athletic Conference softball doubleheader at Cardinal Park.
Ashley Marshall earned both wins as Plattsburgh State prevailed 2-0 and 5-3.
The second win was the second time in three games that the Cardinals came from behind.
“We’ve been doing that a lot, which is good because it shows a lot of fight and it just shows our determination to beat anybody that is going to score some runs against us,” Plattsburgh coach Stephanie Zweig said.
The Cardinals (21-11, 11-5 SUNYAC) finish the SUNYAC season by hosting Fredonia today. On Friday they moved into a three-way tie for second place with Cortland and Geneseo. None of the three can catch Brockport, which clinched first — and hosting rights for the conference tournament — with two wins Friday.
Buffalo State took an early lead in Game 2 on an RBI single by Breanna Fenski and a throwing error by Plattsburgh.
Brianna Clarke drove in a run with a double to left field in the bottom of the first, and then she tied the game at 2-2 when the Bengals committed an error.
Buffalo State (12-18, 6-10) pulled back ahead in the fourth when Stephanie Novo’s line drive to center field brought in Shelly Maggard, who had reached on an error.
Both teams changed pitchers in the fifth, with Ashley Marshall relieving Sam Moss for Plattsburgh and then Buffalo State’s Sam Tilkins replacing Maddie Coneys.
Plattsburgh loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth. Tilkins threw a strikeout, but then Michelle Iannone reached on a fielder’s choice and two Cardinals made it home for a 4-3 lead. Megan Price followed with a hard grounder to the second baseman, who bobbled the ball, allowing Plattsburgh to add another run.
“Our bats started to come alive; we were stringing hits together,” Plattsburgh shortstop Brittany Marshall said. “And then we got bases loaded, and then just from there everything was rolling.”
The Bengals went down in order in the sixth, but they got a couple of hits in the seventh and put two runners in scoring position. Ashley Marshall struck out the next batter and then induced a pop up for the third out.
“Ash did what she does best, and we stayed together as a defense and we got the plays done when we needed to,” Zweig said.
Ashley Marshall had three strikeouts and allowed three hits in three innings. Moss pitched a solid four innings, allowing five hits and one earned run.
Kerry McCarty led the Cardinals at the plate with a double and a single.
Coneys suffered the loss.
In the first inning of the second game, Brittany Marshall reached, stole second and then scored after Clarke singled and the Bengals overthrew third base. The Cardinals made it 2-0 when Clarke got home on another throwing error.
Buffalo State threatened in the fourth, loading the bases after an intentional walk. But Lindsay Goff flew out to left field and the Cardinals caught the runner at home to end the inning.
Ashley Marshall earned the complete-game win, striking out nine, walking two and allowing three hits.
Coneys took the loss despite giving up just three hits. She fanned five with no walks.
Brittany Marshall, Clarke and Samantha Capobianco had Plattsburgh’s hits.
The Bengals had three errors in that game and totaled seven on the day.
“We played solid defense the first game, and Buffalo didn’t and that was the difference,” Zweig said. “And I think it wasn’t an offensive game at all on either side, but we did what we needed to do defensively to hold them.”
The Cardinals have won nine of their last 10 games. With four contests left in the regular season, Brittany Marshall said they’ve got some momentum going.
“Absolutely. I think we’re coming together as a team very well,” she said. “Perfect time.”
Plattsburgh 2, Buffalo State 0
Buffalo State 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
Plattsburgh 200 000 0 — 2 3 0
Coneys and Goff. A. Marshall and Tenney. WP- A. Marshall. LP- Coneys.
Plattsburgh 5, Buffalo State 3
Buffalo State 200 100 0 — 3 8 4
Plattsburgh 200 030 x — 5 5 2
Coneys, Tilkins (5) and Goff. Moss, A. Marshall (5) and Tenney. WP- A. Marshall. LP- Coneys. 2B- Novo (BS), Gay (PSU), Clarke (PSU), McCarty (PSU).
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