CORTLAND — Plattsburgh State played what coach Stephanie Zweig called "two solid games" Friday, but the Cardinals still ended up with two losses to Cortland — just like everyone else in the conference.
The Red Dragons stayed unbeaten in SUNY Athletic Conference play by defeating Plattsburgh State, 3-1 and 8-0.
Katie Finch, the conference's top pitcher, held the Cardinals to two hits in the first game. They had five in the second game but couldn't convert them to runs. Zweig said despite the quality of Cortland's pitching, the Cardinals should have been better at the plate.
"I think that it wasn't something we haven't seen yet, it's just, again, our failing to be dominant batters," Zweig said. "I don't know if it's going to happen for us this year, but we need to work on becoming more dominant hitters to match the teams we're going to face."
Plattsburgh State (19-14, 8-7 SUNYAC) slipped into a three-way tie for fifth place with New Paltz and Geneseo, who play each other today. The top six make next week's conference tournament.
The Cardinals play a doubleheader at Oswego this morning and then head back to Cortland to finish a game against Potsdam that was suspended earlier in the season. Two wins would guarantee the Cardinals a playoff spot.
The Potsdam game was tied at 3-3 in the fifth inning when it was halted.
Plattsburgh State pulled ahead of Cortland in Friday's first game when Katie McNally hit a solo home run in the fifth. The lead lasted only until the bottom of the inning.
Lucia Meola hit a 2-run single to put the Red Dragons in front, and they added another when Meola got in a rundown to allow another runner to score.
Finch struck out seven and walked two. Ashley Napear had the Cardinals' other hit.
Heather Loughran went the distance for Plattsburgh State and gave up four hits.
"Heather pitched a great game the first game — probably the best she's had in the conference so far," Zweig said. "I knew going against Finch, she was going to compete really, really hard."
Emily Ringen smacked two home runs in the nightcap to power the Red Dragons (32-6, 16-0).
Her first gave them a 1-0 lead in the fourth, before Jessica Harman tripled in another run. Cortland had three runs on four hits in the fifth, and Ringen's 3-run shot in the sixth ended the game because of the run rule.
Lindsay Rowell earned the win.
Ashley Marshall allowed eight hits in 4⅓ innings, and Tanya Fedyshyn replaced her.
While the Cardinals committed costly defensive errors in a loss to New Paltz Thursday, Zweig said that wasn't the problem Friday.
"There were a couple of mistake pitches," Zweig said. "They scored their runs in the second game definitely with solid hits. We might have kept it over the plate a little bit too much, and they took advantage.
"I think we did a lot better defensively today. That's someplace we can beat ourselves if we have errors, but we played better today."
Napear, the only Plattsburgh State player with multiple hits Friday, went 2-for-2 in the second game.
Oswego swept Potsdam Friday for its first two SUNYAC wins this season.
Cortland 3, Plattsburgh State 1
Plattsburgh State 000 010 0 — 1 2 0
Cortland 000 030 X — 3 4 0
Loughran and Florkiewicz. Finch and Fusco. WP- Finch. LP- Loughran. HR- McNally (PS).
Cortland 8, Plattsburgh State 0 (6)
Plattsburgh State 000 000 — 0 5 2
Cortland 000 233 — 8 10 1
Marshall, Fedyshyn (5) and Florkiewicz. Rowell and Dieffenbach. WP- Rowell. LP- Marshall. 2B- Diemer (PS), Groneman (C). 3B- Harman (C). HR- Ringen (C) 2.