Lehigh’s baseball and softball teams haven’t played a single home game this season due to inclement weather.
So far, the weather has not been in the Mountain Hawks’ favor. With the harsh winter, snowfall has been one of the largest obstacles facing the teams. They were forced to wait an extra week before opening their 2015 seasons because of the weather.
The baseball team has had a total of six games canceled and the softball team has had a total of eight canceled, including the Tar Heel Invitational and some games at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Orlando, Florida.
The people in charge of the playing fields or the tournament are the ones who make the final decision on games being canceled.
“For certain games, the coaches decide whether the fields are going to be playable or not,” sophomore first baseman/pitcher Connor Donovan said. “Our coach is constantly checking the forecasts to see if snow or rain will come during game time.”
Coaches are sometimes hesitant to cancel games because it means all the work the team has put in that week will have to wait to be showcased on the field. It also means that the team is missing out on opportunities to get better and prepare for some significant later games.
There have been some negative impacts upon the team’s seasons because of the canceled games.
“We have played less games than most of the other schools, and in a way that has set us back,” junior outfielder Mackenzie Valasquez said. “In a sense, we are not as prepared as those other teams. We’re disappointed because all we want to do is play ball. It sucks when games get canceled because of things out of our control.”
The coaches and players are frustrated and disappointed with how little they have been able to play so far this season.
“Coaches put so much time into our practices and when we can’t get outside to practice or to play games, they can’t see what we need to work on,” Valasquez said. “As a player, we just want to play and it sucks knowing we were supposed to start so long ago and we only just started two to three weeks ago.”
The teams have tried to reschedule some of the games, but it is tough to do because teams have multiple games a week and it can be difficult to find common open dates for two different teams. The only games that will definitely be rescheduled are the ones against Boston University since they are conference games and need to be played before the Patriot League Tournament.
In the Northeast region of the country, weather delays for sports are expected. The Lehigh teams have dealt with weather cancellations in previous years, but not to the same extent as this season.
“This year was a lot worse than usual,” sophomore catcher John Scarr said. “The weather up North has been brutal so a lot of teams have had to play down South.”
But even playing down South has its issues. The softball team traveled down to Orlando to compete in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic and two of their games were canceled because of thunderstorms.
The teams have been able to play in their recent games as the weather becomes more tolerable. However, neither team has been able to play on the new Goodman Campus Baseball Field. The softball team is scheduled to play at home this Wednesday, April 1 to make up the Boston series games.