Weather hinders team preparation

Although softball is still underway, snow keeps them practicing indoors

Story by Austin Mai, Staff Writer

The UW- Eau Claire softball team started their season two weekends ago when they played at the Rochester Dome Tournament in Minnesota.

The team played well in the four games allotted by the tournament and that’s promising for this season, but people don’t always think about the time and effort that goes into practice. Especially when a team has to practice indoors for a sport predominantly played outdoors.

After the success they had at the Dome tourney, Blugolds softball head coach Leslie Huntington said it’s hard to get back into practice without a drop in motivation.

The lack of motivation can be attributed to things such as inflated egos and a gap between the next tournament, but that’s not this team’s case.

Huntington said the drop in motivation comes from having to shrink the playing space because of the practice facilities.

“We practice in McPhee … It’s far from the size of a softball diamond,” Huntington said.

Practice is being affected in ways such as outfielders being unable to spot and catch fly balls because ceiling isn’t tall enough.

Another disadvantage to the players is practicing on a wood floor. Huntington said it’s very important for players, especially pitchers to get a feel for finding their footing in the dirt.

Huntington said her team isn’t calling for help, and this is what it’s like to play Blugold softball.

“We’re not unique in that we don’t have a huge indoor practice facility,” Huntington said. “Most schools don’t have a huge facility, a lot of people are in this situation.”

 Huntington said the current icescape doesn’t help her confidence for the rest of the season’s weather.

“Our goal is always to get outside right after spring break,” Huntington said. “I don’t know if that’s going to happen this year or not.”

Huntington’s concerns aren’t new as winter weather has often lingered into softball season, most memorably last season.

“We lost eleven games to weather last year,” Huntington said. “That’s really tragic.”