The Hawks 2018 softball campaign came to an end this past Saturday. Finishing with a record of 14-21-1 (7-11-0 in conference) the New Paltz softball team failed to make the SUNYAC tournament for the first time since the 2015 season.
“We had the talent and that was noticeable,” said Hawks head coach Samantha Miller. “We beat Tufts and Ramapo earlier in the season, and we lost by one run to some of the top teams. It wasn’t a matter of what we didn’t have, it was more not being able to put it together.”
The last victory for the 2018 Hawks came on Friday, April 27 against Plattsburgh State.
Plattsburgh struck first with two runs in the home half of the first. A wild pitch scored third-year shortstop Kaitlyn Preiss, followed by a shallow SAC-fly to give the Cardinals the early 2-0 advantage. They would later tally another run in the fourth, taking a 3-0 lead into the fifth.
Second-year utility Taylor Fischer started off the Hawks half of the fifth with a hit-by-pitch, advancing to second on a wild pitch by Plattsburgh second-year pitcher Katie Pitkin.
Fourth-year outfielder Taylor Leonette followed with a walk before first-year second basemen and outfielder Katie Conrad singled to right center, scoring Fischer while advancing Leonette to third. Another wild pitch by Pitkin scored Leonette, advancing Conrad to second who would later score on a single by fourth-year outfielder Julia Perhacs evening the score at three.
In the sixth the Hawks took charge. Second-year utility Meagan Blair started the inning off by reaching on an error by Preiss. After fourth-year third baseman Alexa Mastando came in to pinch run for Blair, third-year second baseman Shannon Fee doubled to left scoring Mastando. Conrad would later collect her second RBI single of the day, giving the Hawks the 5-3 lead.
One run in the bottom of the sixth would tighten the gap, but in the end New Paltz would go on to win by a final of 5-4.
Conrad led the offense for the Hawks, going 2-for-4 with two RBI’s in the victory while second-year pitcher and utility Alyssa Pfitscher went all seven allowing just three earned runs on five hits, collecting a strikeout along the way.
Earlier that same day, the Hawks dropped a close one to the same Cardinals by a score of 4-3.
After tying the game at three in the sixth on a two-run triple by second-year third base/utility Kelsey Trudden Plattsburgh came up with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth, sealing the late victory for the Cardinals.
The Hawks concluded the 2018 season with a pair of games against SUNY Potsdam on Saturday, April 28.
In game one the Hawks found themselves down 6-0 in the third. A late push in the sixth would cut the deficit in half, but it would not be enough as they would fall by a final score of 6-3.
After a Hawks run in the first, Potsdam took an early 3-1 lead in game two thanks to runs in the second and third innings. Each team would tally another in the fifth but in the end the Hawks would drop the game by a score of 4-2, concluding their season.
The Hawks will be graduating five seniors this season.
“My fellow seniors and I were all emotional and sad to see our college careers come to an end,” said fourth-year pitcher Lauren Cappello. “Our memories and learning experiences are all positive. New Paltz softball has given us amazing friends, memories and learning experiences that we hopefully have passed on to our underclassmen to bring into their future seasons.”
Even with the departure of pitchers like Cappello, Miller has faith in her team’s ability going into next season.
“Our pitching, knowing we have Alyssa and Emily back is great for us. Also the lessons passed on from the graduating seniors will serve us well next season,” Miller said.