---- — POTSDAM — Entering Sunday’s doubleheader, the Potsdam State softball team had just one win in SUNY Athletic Conference play this season.
That, however, didn’t stop the Bears (7-17, 1-13) from pushing Plattsburgh State to the limit.
The Cardinals (19-11, 9-5) posted a 6-4 win in the first game and then needed 10 innings for a 6-5 victory in the nightcap.
“It was a crazy day, for sure,” Plattsburgh coach Stephanie Zweig said. “We did what we needed to do to win. We went in and took care of business.”
One of the heroes on the day for Plattsburgh was pitcher Ashley Marshall, who ended up getting the win in both games with a combined 28 strikeouts.
Marshall, in the first game, allowed five hits, three earned runs, walked one and struck out 14.
Then, in the second contest, she took over for starter Samantha Moss in the first inning and went the rest of the way, totaling 9.2 innings while allowing six hits, two earned runs, two walks and 14 strikeouts.
The win in the second game wouldn’t have been possible without Brianna Clarke’s two-run homer in the top of the seventh that forced extra innings.
“(Marshall) did a phenomenal job,” Zweig said. “(Clarke) two-run home run in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 4-all was huge, too. It was a team effort.”
Both teams pushed across a run in the ninth before the Cardinals took a 6-5 advantage in the 10th on Samantha Tenney’s sacrifice fly. Marshall then closed the door on the Bears in the home half.
Potsdam held a 3-0 lead after one inning and a 4-0 advantage after two, and still had a 4-2 edge entering the seventh.
Michelle Iannone led Plattsburgh with four hits, while Clarke added three. The Cardinals had 12 hits in all.
Heather Johnson, Amanda Perry and Brittany Thivierge rapped out two hits each for Potsdam. One of Perry’s hits was a home run. Megan Johnson pitched the entire 10 innings in taking the loss.
The first game was scoreless until Plattsburgh scored two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth for a 4-0 lead. Potsdam then rallied for four runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth to tie it.
But the Cardinals regained the lead for good in the seventh inning on Brittany Marshall’s sacrifice fly and an ensuing error that allowed a second run to score.
Six players had a hit apiece for Plattsburgh in the opener, with Kerry McCarty driving in two runs and scoring twice.
Losing pitcher Ashley Thayer accounted for two of the five Potsdam hits, with one being a triple. She drove in two runs and scored one. Thayer allowed six hits, three earned runs, walked seven and struck out three.
The Cardinals return home Friday for a SUNYAC doubleheader against Buffalo State.
The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Cardinal Park.
“We’re approaching our last weekend of the regular season, and we’re just looking to stay focused,” Zweig said. “I’m impressed and happy with where we stand with mental toughness and our ability to get the job done.”
Plattsburgh 6, Potsdam 4
Plattsburgh 000 220 2 — 6 6 2
Potsdam 000 004 0 — 4 5 5
Marshall and Tenney. Thayer and Perry. WP- A. Marshall. LP- Thayer. 2B- McCarty (PSU), Marsman (P). 3B- Thayer (P).
Plattsburgh 6, Potsdam 5 (10)
Plattsburgh 000 110 201 1 — 6 12 1
Potsdam 310 000 001 0 — 5 10 2
Moss, A. Marshall (1) and Tenney. M. Johnson and Thivierge. WP- A. Marshall. LP- Johnson. 2B- Gay (PSU), Marsman (P). 3B- H. Johnson (P), Thayer (P). HR- Clarke (PSU), Perry (P).