Mother Nature Not Kind to Spring Sports
Photo by Emily Hoffmann The baseball field was still covered in snow as of Wednesday afternoon.

Mother Nature Not Kind to Spring Sports

It is a problem that the Pointers baseball and softball teams seemingly have to deal with every season.

The inclement weather of spring in Wisconsin puts a strain on both teams’ practice and game schedules. The weather makes it difficult to play all of the necessary games while also dedicating time for practice.

Baseball head coach Pat Bloom explained that the weather prevents players from getting into a comfortable routine during the season.

“Anybody that has played baseball or softball knows that the cold, the wind and the rain affect performance,” Bloom said. “It makes for a real challenge, and it is hard to expect players to perform at their optimal level.”

Softball head coach Jill Millis said that the weather limits what they can coach their players on.

“It is particularly difficult when it comes to defense as there are certain aspects of the game that you simply cannot work on inside,” Millis said.

Even with the conditions not being favorable this year, the baseball team has hosted eight games in Stevens Point this season.

Coach Bloom gives a significant amount of  credit to building and grounds supervisor Chris Brindley and his grounds crew team for getting the fields playable.

“They were out there plowing our field off in the winter when there were several feet of snow on it,” Bloom said. “They do a lot of work behind the scenes and they are always there at the break of dawn to help get the field ready.”

Bloom said that Brindley and the grounds crew work from sunup to sundown some days and are willing to offer their help on weekdays and weekends.

“We really appreciate all the work they do for us,” Bloom said.

With the constant threat of weather causing a move indoors for practice, both teams are thankful to have the Multi Activity Center as an option.

“We are very fortunate to have the MAC, as it is a great space that allows us to utilize two batting cages which makes working on our hitting a lot easier,” Millis said.

“It is fantastic to have a range of indoor facilities that we have as options in case we cannot practice outdoors,” Bloom said.

But with the expectation that both teams would be outside at this point in the season, scheduling a time in the MAC has proved to be a challenge.

“With one space on campus and numerous teams, classes, and events all using the same venue, our time is very limited,” Millis said. “Many times we do not have full use of the space for practice.”

When asked if this season was any different than the others, both Millis and Bloom said that these types of issues come up every year.

Last season, the softball team did not play their first home game until May 1, which was the last day of the regular season.

“It is very similar to last year so the returners have an advantage of knowing what it is like to deal with it,” Millis said.

“I could think back to at least one situation in each of the last ten years that we had a bad weather week where it forced our hand in rescheduling and moving practice indoors,” Bloom said.

Both coaches know that this weather can be frustrating at times, but they also know that you should not get frustrated about things that you cannot change.

“We cannot control the weather so we just have to figure out what we can do and make the best of our situation,” Millis said. “We have to stay positive and focus on the things we can do to get better as a team.”

“It is part of playing baseball in central Wisconsin,” Bloom said. “We just have to focus on what we can control.”

Will Rossmiller

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