Inclement weather disrupts spring sports play

PAT CANDIDO
Sports Correspondent

The University’s spring sports are well underway, but the weather has drastically affected the playing conditions and schedules.

Scranton’s tennis, baseball, softball and golf teams are having trouble adjusting to the unpredictable climate. Not only are games being canceled and postponed, but athletes are being forced to practice indoors instead of on their respective fields.

Scranton’s baseball team has been practicing indoors nearly every day, according to Head Coach Mike Bartoletti. He said the team has yet to play a single conference game at home, but the lack of on-field practices are a bigger concern to him.

“The weather’s affected our practices more than our games,” Bartoletti said. “We haven’t been able to practice on a regulation baseball field all year, but that’s what comes with spring sports like baseball.”
Pitcher Dillon Chorba said the team has struggled this year because of the field conditions.

“One of the biggest things for baseball is getting used to playing on a field with the many different playing conditions, and it takes a while to do so,” Chorba said. “Practicing on a basketball court isn’t really conducive to baseball, so it’s something that takes a little time for any team to get accustomed to.”

Three baseball games have already been canceled or postponed for the Royals this season and they had to reschedule their home games because of the poor playing conditions in the Scranton area.

“The weather has been an obstacle to our team,” Chorba said. “The rescheduling has been a problem because it forces us to double up on games and keeps a busy, packed schedule.”

Playing games in such a compact time period has not only hurt the baseball team and its preparation, but the softball team has had trouble adjusting as well. Sophomore Pitcher Emily Simon said they have yet to practice outdoors, and the season is already halfway over.

“It’s been hard in games to judge the ball because we haven’t been on the dirt or on the field,” Simon said. “The fielding preparation has been damaged because it’s hard to adjust in games, on the actual field, when we’re practicing indoors.”

Baseball and softball are not the only spring sports that have been wounded because of the lack of on-field preparation. The tennis and golf teams have not been able to get in any proper practice rhythm.
Nicole Mahaffey, a senior tennis player, said the weather has caused compact schedules, just like it has for baseball and softball.

“All of the postponements and rescheduling has forced us to play three matches in one weekend,” Mahaffey said. “It’s a lot on our shoulders and it can really affect how we perform.”

Mahaffey said the team is not allowed to play unless it is 50 degrees outside. Watching the weather is something players have become accustomed to since it has had such an impact on the season.

“Weather is a constant concern for us,” Mahaffey said. “The wind has been crazy; it affects our serves and all of the shots we normally take.”

Steven Lambrinakos, a sophomore golfer, said the season was supposed to start about a month ago, but the team has only had two practices and one match.

“It always takes a few rounds to take the rust off of your swing,” Lambrinakos said. “We’ve been hitting inside instead of on an outdoor course, but you don’t get the same feel and production you would practicing on the actual green.”