PLATTSBURGH — Sean Cotter felt everything was coming together for his Plattsburgh State softball team at the end of its Spring Break trip. That was almost a month ago.With a scheduled break and then three cancellations because of weather last week, the Cardinals haven't played since March 16, and Cotter is anxious to see how quickly they can get back into it.Plattsburgh State (10-6) hosts St. Lawrence in a doubleheader this afternoon. The Cardinals have another home nonconference match-up Thursday, against Morrisville, before starting SUNY Athletic Conference play this weekend.w"We were just starting to kind of get it at the end of our spring trip," Cotter said. "And that was a long time ago now, so it will be interesting to see, will we pick up where we left off? Or will we kind of have to hit some bumps in the road again like we did early in the spring trip?"Plattsburgh State closed out the first part of the season with five straight wins, going 5-1 at the Rebel Games in Kissimmee, Fla. after starting 5-5. The Cardinals, who have nine new players on the roster, are ranked 15th in the NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll.St. Lawrence (6-6) is coming off a 5-4 win over Potsdam last Tuesday. The Saints have played one other SUNYAC team this season, Buffalo State, and lost 3-2.Last season, Plattsburgh State won, 2-0 and 9-0, in Canton."(Pitcher) Ava Pickering, who's their No. 1 kid, she's held us in check for a couple years," Cotter said. "The key will be probably to stay off some of her up stuff."Pickering, a senior right-hander, is 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA.While St. Lawrence isn't a conference foe, it is a fellow Northeast Region team, which gives today's games some added weight — the NCAA considers regional records when handing out at-large tournament berths."(Today's) are regional games, which are really just as important as conference games," Cotter said. "So, Opening Day, all those things, I'm sure we'll have some good energy."The recent cold weather has sent Plattsburgh State indoors for practice, but Cotter said the team has been outside a few days since returning from Florida. With all the time they've had to practice since they're last game, Cotter is hoping the Cardinals have improved their base running."I really felt that was not a strength of ours coming out of Spring Break, and that has always been a strength of our teams," Cotter said. "And we have as quick of a team as we've had here in a while, so that should be a strength. So it will be interesting to see if we've gotten better there, if we believe in it and buy into being aggressive."The coach added that they've been working on "just reading the ball and knowing that as long as they're aggressive, there's no such thing as a stupid out. I think if we get that, we're going to be pretty tough to stop."Note: Plattsburgh State's first two SUNYAC doubleheaders, which were postponed last weekend, have been rescheduled. The Cardinals will now play at Brockport at 2 p.m. April 19 and at Geneseo at 11 a.m. April 22.
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