Unless you are just waking up from winter hibernation,
you know that Mother Nature has not been to kind to Wisconsin lately.
Scattered patches of pale grey wet mess can still be
seen all around campus. As students, we complain about the April snow storms,
but the true victim of this weather has been the softball and baseball teams.
“It’s thrown everybody a big curve,” said Pointers
baseball head coach Pat Bloom.
“It’s a nightmare at this point,” said softball head
coach Jill Millis.
Neither team has been able to hold a full outdoor
practice this year. Both teams have been able to play games, but neither team
has had an easy time doing so.
“It’s been frustrating for everyone whether you’re
involved in a spring sport or you just want to get your garden planted,” Bloom
“Obviously it’s frustrating, but there’s not much you
can do,” said softball senior pitcher Michelle Jones.
Millis, Bloom and Jones are all frustrated with the
weather, but all of them understand that the issue is out of their hands.
“You have to control the controllable,” Millis said. “I
can’t control the weather, so I have to do the best with what we have and give
the players the best experience I can with the circumstances.”
Last year, the teams were both able to get outside to
practice before their trips to Florida over spring break. This year they are
still stuck in the Multi Activity Center in the Health Enhancement Center.
The Multi Activity Center is a great venue to practice
inside, but there are simply some things that the teams can’t do indoors.
“There is only so much we can do inside,” Jones said.
“Sometimes we get outside, and there are certain situations that you can only
verbal talk about in practice, not experience.”
“We can’t hit high fly balls to practice communication
with the outfielders, and that has been a big problem for us this season,
mainly because we can’t practice it,” Millis said.
The baseball team has tried to do some work on their
field, such as chipping ice from their warning track, moving snow out of areas
in play and raking the field, but the constant moisture has made it impossible
to get the field ready.
“There is only so much that you can do,” Bloom said.
“We’re running out of time, and we need Mother Nature to cooperate here.”
The main priority of both coaches is to get all of
their conference games in, although neither is certain they will even be able
to do that.
“I don’t think anything is for sure at this point,”
Bloom said. “Our goal and our priority is to get all 24 conference games in,
even if it means cutting some non-conference games out of the books.”
Millis explained that while they’ve been able to play
eight conference games some have only been able to play one so far. “I have no
idea what we are going to do,” Millis said.
Jones said that the key was to keep a positive attitude
and make the necessary adjustments to go forward with the season.
“Everybody has to play through these same conditions,
so we have to make the most of what we have,” Jones said.