The Marion baseball team is in the midst of a mad scramble to finish the season, playing 10 games in eight days.
The heavy schedule started Tuesday with home games against Bennington. The last games before that were April 16 against Sedgwick.
“The last time we played, we took our first two losses of the year,” baseball coach Roger Schroeder said.
The players had been champing at the bit to play again, so they could get the bad taste of the losses out of their mouths, he said, but the weather was uncooperative with several rainouts since the Sedgwick games. The long layoff took some of fun out of the season.
“Boring,” Taylor Heidebrecht said. “It’s been too long.”
“Boring and frustrating,” Ethan Hett added.
They thought the team had kept its hitting and pitching game-ready with indoor practices at Marion Elementary School, but the indoor practices didn’t allow for much fielding practice.
Unless games are rained out, the baseball team will get its full 20-game regular season in, but it will be a workout for the team’s pitchers. Schroeder said he has enough pitchers — six with varsity experience and two junior varsity pitchers — to make it through the busy stretch, but they won’t have much time to recuperate.
To minimize the workload, he wants his pitchers to challenge hitters to put the ball in play, hopefully getting a few six- or eight-pitch innings along the way. He also told the players on Monday that he doesn’t want to embarrass anyone, but if the team has a chance to end a game by run rule in three or five innings, he is going to take it to reduce the pitching workload.
“They’re going to have to be mentally tough to get through this next week,” Schroeder said.
Hett said he thinks the team is well enough rested from the two-week layoff to handle the busy week ahead.
The last time the softball team played, it swept the Sedgwick Cardinals, 10-5 and 18-6. Senior Chelsea Voth doesn’t worry about the wait between games affecting the team’s momentum, because she doesn’t thing the team depends as much on momentum this year as in recent years.
“I think we’ll be prepared,” she said Monday.
But she does feel like the long delay has taken something away from the season.
“It’s kind of disappointing how the weather has been with how much we’ve improved,” she said.
Remaining double-headers for the baseball team are Thursday at home against Ell-Saline, Friday at Canton-Galva, Monday at Inman, and Tuesday at Halstead. The softball team’s schedule is the same except it doesn’t include Ell-Saline.
Regionals begin May 13. Baseball is in Hillsboro and softball is in Marion.