Rain scrambles softball playoffs’ opening day

prep_icon_greenBy Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

It’s a yearly problem, but one Mooreville fast-pitch coach Perry Wilburn says simply can’t be avoided.

Rain – or worse – always seems to creep in as the MHSAA softball and baseball playoffs get going.

Softball, after an opening play-in round of routs against No. 3 seeds, really gets going this week. But it rained Sunday, much of Monday and there is a great chance of even more today.

“Nothing you can do about the weather. That’s out of our hands,” Wilburn said. “It’s the same for everybody.”

One option would be moving the season to the fall in place of slow pitch or moving some of the back-loaded regular-season division games up the schedule. Some teams have had to squeeze in Wednesday games just to complete playoff standings. But coaches are still making personnel adjustments early on.

“You want to play your regular games early to get ready for your division games,” Wilburn said.

Mooreville (20-3) was scheduled to host Water Valley Monday for Game 1 of that Class 3A series. A decision on today’s game was to be made at lunch. Wilburn said if neither could be played, the MHSAA said games will be played Wednesday and Thursday.

The second round would then start the next day. That’s a lot of games for schools that have one main pitcher, like West Union 16-game winner Brittany Taylor.

Tall task

Two three-game series would mean some pitchers throwing six games.

“I wish there was some way to avoid it,” West Union coach Lisa Bogue said. “These are the biggest games of your season you’re trying to cram in.”

While baseball has a school week in between series, softball is already a bit crammed. Then, throw in the rain making practices a problem for schools like West Union with limited indoor opportunities.

Defending North 1A champ West Union is scheduled to play its opener at Wheeler.

“We’re a small team. We’re talking about 13 girls that have to give 100 percent effort every game because they know there is no backup,” Bogue said. “They’re tired physically, mentally, emotionally and you’re asking these girls to play four days in a row. That’s tough.”

brandon.speck@journalinc.com