PLATTSBURGH — Coach Sean Cotter has been pretty pleased by the Plattsburgh State softball team's play so far, but what he really likes is the squad's potential.The Cardinals, who host Morrisville State today in their last non-conference doubleheader of the season, are 12-6, have won their last seven and are getting regular contributions from a number of new players."Last year at this time we came out of spring break, pretty much knowing who we were," Cotter said. "Keri Brean was playing at a high level, Heidi (Benware) was playing at a high level and Jamie Prudhomme was playing at a high level. And they were playing at about as high a level as they were going to play at."We've got young kids who are playing at a high level, but there's a lot of improvement that they're going to have. And that's exciting — to be able to watch their growth not only this year but into next year. And that's what has got us pretty pumped up."Brean, Benware and Prudhomme are three of the seniors lost from last year's squad and three of that team's biggest hitters. But Plattsburgh State showed in Tuesday's home opener that it still has some power hitting — the Cardinals had two home runs, including a grand slam, against St. Lawrence. Plattsburgh State has five homers on the season."Our freshmen, they've stepped up," said junior Andrea Stupp, who smacked the grand slam Tuesday. "And they have not been intimidated by the pitching they're seeing at all. They're out there swinging the bat and doing their part. And (sophomore) Shannon Connors came out (Tuesday) with the home run; she continues to do really well from last year."So I really feel like instead of just stopping where we were last year, we're improving and going further. So I'm really excited. I think we're really doing a good job picking up from where (last year's seniors) left off."Freshman Amy Woo was batting .420 heading into this week, and junior newcomer Jennifer Nescio was at .410. Ashley Napear, another freshman, has one dinger and nearly got another Tuesday before her left-field shot bounced off the fence.Both Cotter and Stupp said the Cardinals have a few little things to be cleaned up from Tuesday's games before they start conference play this weekend.Morrisville swept Wells College Tuesday to improve to 3-13. The Mustangs, who will join the SUNY Athletic Conference next season, had an ERA of 11.39 at the beginning of the week."They're non-conference, non-regional games, so we're obviously going in to compete and to win — we do that every time we take the field — but it will be an opportunity for a lot of our kids who didn't get to play today to play," Cotter said.
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