Softball Cardinals return in fine form: Plattsburgh State overcomes lengthy layoff to sweep SLU PDF Print E-mail
Written by COURTNEY LEWIS, Staff Writer   
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State played a doubleheader Tuesday in cold, breezy conditions and intermittent snow flurries, but the Cardinals were just happy to finally be playing again — and to pick up two wins.
Andrea Stupp hit her first career grand slam and Shannon Connors smacked a home run and a triple as the Cardinals swept St. Lawrence, 6-0 and 8-0, in their home opener.
"It was like first-day excitement all over again," Stupp said. "We had 25 days off, which was plenty of time — too much time. So finally getting to be out here and play and be outside, not inside anymore, and to be in game situations, not just drills, was amazing."
It took a while to get the offense going in the first game, but Plattsburgh State got on the board in the fourth inning when Stephanie Blood scored on a dropped fly ball for a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals (12-6) broke it open in the sixth. After St. Lawrence pitcher Ava Pickering walked two and hit a batter to load the bases, Danielle Gjergji's line drive brought Connors home. Then Stupp pounded a pitch to the flag pole outside the center-field fence for her sixth career home run.
"It felt good off the bat, but the joke of the matter was I thought we only had one runner on," Stupp, a junior first baseman, said. "So when I crossed home, one of my teammates tells me, 'You hit a grand slam.' I was like, 'No I didn't'. And then I looked and was like, 'Oh.' "
Stupp added that she knew there was a runner on third and was just focused on trying to bring her in, so she didn't notice the other runners.
Stephanie Zweig had 10 strikeouts and one walk and gave up four hits in the complete-game win. Ashley Napear belted a double that looked like a home run until it hit the top of the fence and bounced back in.
Pickering went five innings, allowing eight hits while striking out one and walking three.
Once the Cardinals got a few hits, they continued the momentum, finishing with 18 on the day, including seven for extra bases.
"I think it was that first-day jitters thing," Stupp said. "You're very over-aggressive at the plate. You want to hit the ball, so you're maybe not swinging at the best pitches. So we kind of settled down and waited for our pitch, and that's when we started hitting the ball well."
The Cardinals needed just five innings to take care of the Saints (6-8-1) in the second game. Connors' two-run shot to left gave Plattsburgh State a first-inning lead, and Amy Woo hit one to the warning track in the second to score Stupp. Plattsburgh State added two more in the third when Connors ripped an RBI-triple and later scored.
After the Cardinals plated three in the fourth and then retired the first three batters in the top of the fifth, the game ended early because of the eight-run rule.
Jaclyn Leitze threw a two-hitter with eight strikeouts, while St. Lawrence's Janelle Graves allowed 10 hits.
Jess Palmaccio had a double, a run and two RBI, and Woo and Melissa Luciano also doubled.
"With the weather being a little cold, it was nice to see the bats get going there," Plattsburgh State coach Sean Cotter said. "And I thought we were just a little anxious early (in the afternoon), but still played pretty well."
Plattsburgh State 6, St. Lawrence 0
St. Lawrence000 000 0 — 0 4 1
Plattsburgh State000 105 X — 6 8 2
Pickering, Graves (7) and Padeni. Zweig and Luciano. WP- Zweig. LP- Pickering. 2B- Bottego (SL), Napear (PSU). HR- Stupp (PSU).
Plattsburgh State 8, St. Lawrence 0
St. Lawrence000 00 — 0 2 0
Plattsburgh State 212 3X — 8 10 2
Graves and Padeni. Leitze and Burek. WP- Leitze. LP- Graves. 2B- Woo (PSU), Palmaccio (PSU), Luciano (PSU). 3B- Connors (PSU). HR- Connors (PSU).



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