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Plattsburgh State players celebrate after Stephanie Blood (18) hit a home run in the first game of the Cardinals' sweep of Potsdam. Bonus photos will be posted at www.pressrepublican.com by midday

PLATTSBURGH -- Plattsburgh State smacked three home runs Tuesday and totaled 24 hits while keeping Potsdam from doing much of anything offensively.

The Cardinals shut out the Bears, 9-0 and 11-0, in two five-inning games at the Plattsburgh State Softball Complex.

Shannon Connors had four hits and two RBI for Plattsburgh State (21-7, 9-1 SUNYAC), and Amy Woo added three hits and three RBI. Andrea Stupp, Ashley Napear and Stephanie Blood each hit one over the fence.

The Cardinals, who are tied for fourth in the SUNY Athletic Conference, host New Paltz today.

Potsdam (6-19, 2-10) stayed close in the second game until the top of fourth, when Plattsburgh State tallied five. Napear started the inning with a solo homer to left field, and Stupp later hit a two-run dinger for a 5-0 lead. Melissa Luciano's single brought in two more runs before the inning ended.

Potsdam coach Shannon Dillabough said the Bears had an unfortunate combination of missed opportunities and a couple mistakes.

"Game would've been a little different, I think, if we had gotten a hit here or there, put a couple runs across," Dillabough said. "But when you let a team off the hook, and then they come back and capitalize on your mistakes, that kind of takes the wind out of you."

Plattsburgh State added to its lead in the fifth. Woo knocked in Danielle Gjergji ,and Jess Palmaccio's line drive scored two. Connors followed that with a long fly to center field that brought in the 11th run of the game.

Jaclyn Leitze struck out two and gave up three hits in the win.

Brittany Deno allowed seven hits and seven runs before leaving the game in the fourth with an injury. Deno took a grounder off the shin and was helped to the dugout.

Jennifer Nescio stretched a ground ball into a double in the first inning of the first game and then scored on Connors' grounder down the third-base line.

The Cardinals went up 4-0 in the second and scored three more in the third. Blood sent a two-run shot over the center-field fence in the fourth to wrap up the scoring.

Connors, Gjergji and Woo all went 2-for-3 in that game. Stephanie Zweig allowed just three hits and struck out three with no walks.

Potsdam's Ashley McCoy had one strikeout and two walks and gave up 12 hits.

Stupp now leads the team with three home runs, and Napear and Blood each have two. The Cardinals have gone deep nine times this season.

"We're not the power team maybe that we were a year ago, but I still think we have pretty good power," Plattsburgh State coach Sean Cotter said. "But I'll take doubles and triples.

"Woo was on the ball all day long today, and Connors was on the ball. And then you have a kid like Stupp down in the eight spot who can hit the ball with power and Kirby (Davids) in the nine spot who's tough to defend. So we feel like we have some answers in a lot of places."

Plattsburgh State shattered the school record with 46 home runs last season, but the top two power hitters from that team graduated. The Cardinals have still had plenty of offense. They've outscored opponents 155-52 and heading into Tuesday, they ranked in the top three in the conference in hits and RBI even though they've played fewer games than most teams.

"We're just scoring differently," Cotter said. "I think actually, we're probably scoring more runs than we were last year. We talked as a coaching staff at the end of last year that we kind of got really one-dimensional with the power game and we still needed to keep our aggressiveness. And I think we've had good balance so far this year."

Today, the Cardinals will face a New Paltz team that split a pair of games at Oneonta on Tuesday. The Hawks (10-16, 3-7) are tied for seventh in the conference.

Plattsburgh State 9, Potsdam 0

Potsdam000 00 -- 0 3 1

Plattsburgh State133 2X -- 9 12 2

McCoy, Stone (4) and Bibbens. Zweig and Burek. 2B- Woo (PSU), Nescio (PSU), Connors (PSU). HR- Blood (PSU).

Plattsburgh State 11, Potsdam 0

Plattsburgh State101 54 -- 11 12 1

Potsdam000 00 -- 0 3 2

Leitze and Luciano, Burek (4). Deno, Weaver (4) and Dunkleberger. 2B- Connors (PSU), Stupp (PSU), Ladouceur (Pot.). 3B- Woo (PSU). HR- Napear (PSU), Stupp (PSU).

clewis@pressrepublican.com

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