The worst spring ever, weather-wise, continues to rear its ugly head.
It’s Monday afternoon, and in an ideal world – or even just slightly better weather – both our softball state championship series and our North/South half baseball series should both have been completed.
Instead, due to this past weekend’s weather, state softball is just now beginning today. On the baseball front, Smithville was able to get in a doubleheader on the turf field at Corinth against West Union on Saturday, grabbed the split and will play a decisive Game 3 tonight. Hamilton plays a Game 2, looking to extend its season.
In past years, softball has usually been finished up by no later than Saturday, and the longest I can remember North-half baseball going was two years ago when we wrapped it up on Mother’s Day.
This is the first year that I can remember the weather affecting every single round of the playoffs.
It affected the fast-pitch playoffs so much that for a little while, Smithville was playing a whole round behind everyone else. They were finishing up their technical “first round” while Hamilton and Nettleton were playing in the second round. Both of the first two rounds of baseball were postponed a day due to the rain, and this past Saturday, Hamilton’s Game 3 in the third round against Nanih Waiya had to be postponed two days.
We’ve had some plenty rainy springs in the seven years I’ve been here, but I can’t really remember one quite this bad. We also had the beginning of the season where no one got to play for about a whole week due to the floods in late February.
This past weekend’s weather problems has been a lose-lose situation in many ways, and there’s been some pretty poor planning for both state tournaments.
From a financial standpoint, Smithville softball had to pay for transportation and hotel last Wednesday and Thursday simply to wait it out for games that everyone knew probably wouldn’t be able to be played.
For baseball, the state tournament has (so far) just been pushed back one day, which is kind of a mess for teams who didn’t get to start their series until Saturday or Sunday. Some teams will be in a better boat than others pitching-wise, when you take the pitch count rules into effect, and that’s not exactly fair either.
My best friend, who’s also a softball coach in another town, said to me that she couldn’t remember the weather ever pushing things back this badly. I replied that I couldn’t either – at least not at this point in the season. We’ve had some playoff games get pushed back a day or so, but never looking like rounds would have to start 3-4 days later. I certainly can’t remember the state championships on either side getting postponed by even a day.
The last time I can remember the weather being quite this bad was at the beginning of the season in 2015. Some teams had to shovel snow off their fields just to play the first weekend, and Smithville baseball didn’t get to play a home game until April due to all the rain.
That was at least another situation of dealing with it at the beginning of the season, rather than the end, when it’s crunch time.
But maybe it’s a sign that we’re due for a few years after this of more cooperative baseball and softball weather. One can only cross their fingers and hope.