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Snow causes spring sports to reschedule games

By , Reporter  |  Wednesday, April 3, 2013 10:06 PM

Although March 20 marked the official first day of spring, lingering snow around campus would suggest otherwise, which has made spring sports schedules hard to manage.

Sports Information Director Gene McGivern said despite concerns of possible home game postponement, the athletic grounds should be ready for spring sports teams to begin playing outdoors this week.

“There’s a lot of moving parts to everything, but the games should continue as scheduled,” McGivern said. “It looks like we’re in better shape than a lot of schools.”

Snow piles remain lingering along the long jump runway at the south end of O'Shaughnessy Stadium. Spring sports teams, including the softball and baseball teams, may face several postponed games due to snow remaining on various MIAC athletic fields. (Jacob Sevening/TommieMedia)

Snow piles remain along the long jump runway in O'Shaughnessy Stadium. Spring sports teams, including the softball and baseball teams, may face several postponed games due to snow remaining on various MIAC athletic fields. (Jacob Sevening/TommieMedia)

The baseball team’s home doubleheader against Augsburg, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will be played either at 2:30 p.m. Thursday or Friday. The baseball team also had to reschedule Saturday, March 30’s home doubleheader against Hamline for Sunday, April 28.

Although St. Thomas will host outdoor games as scheduled, McGivern said away games may still be postponed due to snow on other schools’ athletic fields.

McGivern also said teams are trying to compete as scheduled to avoid playing too many games too quickly at the end of the season.

“Obviously everyone’s goal is to have a complete season that’s kind of spread out to give everybody their best chance … (a condensed season) would put more pressure on teams with less depth,” McGivern said.

For some Tommie athletes, the weather isn’t a factor in starting outdoor competition. Senior Brian McCarthy said the Tommie tennis teams are excited to get outside and play regardless of weather conditions.

“We got a taste of outdoor tennis in Hilton Head, S.C., so we want to get outside as soon as possible and keep the good playing going,” McCarthy said. “We’ve got a bunch of big matches coming up and we just want to do our best in each match.”

Freshman tennis player Shelby Henderson shares McCarthy’s enthusiasm to begin outdoor conference play.

“I’m very excited to get out there, trust me,” Henderson said. “Playing outside feels more natural than playing on a track (in the Anderson Field House).”

With some games being postponed this week, the baseball team was forced to resume indoor practice in the Anderson Field House.

“We’ve been in (the Anderson Field House) since the beginning of January, and it’s April. It’s just like, ‘Come on, really? Why aren’t we outside?’” senior pitcher Dylan Thomas said. “It’s great that we have a place that we can practice (indoors), don’t get me wrong, but being outside is so much better than being inside.”

The softball team took on Augsburg in its home opener Wednesday after its game was pushed back one day.

“It’s crunch time,” freshman softball player Kylie Earl said. “There’s only been one day that (the softball team) has been able to practice outdoors and get accustomed to the dirt and the grass out there.”

As Tommie athletes prepare for competition in all spring sports, McGivern said patience is key in dealing with weather this spring season.

“Everyone just has to try to be patient and be flexible,” McGivern said. “It’s one of the worst years that we’ve had, but it tends to be a short term thing that passes in a week.”

Jacob Sevening can be reached at seve8586@stthomas.edu.

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