With no home, baseball and softball adjusts on the road
Due to renovations on their fields, all baseball and softball teams have had to practice and play all of their games on the road this season.
“It’s definitely been an adjustment,” varsity softball head coach Allison Bauch said. “Whether it’s a practice or a game, there’s just a lot more puzzle pieces that have to be considered, being that we are away every single game.”
One of those puzzle pieces is making players responsible for team equipment as they travel between sites. “Sometimes it’s hard to remember all of the equipment, and we’ve had to suffer a few consequences for forgetting our equipment,” varsity softball outfielder Amanda Santangelo, ‘20, said.
Sometimes, figuring out where the teams will play that day presents a challenge. “One of the adjustments that I make is just throughout the day worrying about where teams are going to play,” varsity baseball head coach Derek Fivelson said. “Reschedules are difficult because you don’t know if your rented fields are available those days, so it takes up time in the day that I normally wouldn’t have to spend if I had a field readily available on campus.”
The teams have had to make their home on many different fields. Baseball practices at Fabbrini Park, while softball practices at Sycamore Park. For games, varsity baseball plays at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium and Harper College, and has lower-level games at Fabbrini Park. Softball plays at Chicago Bandits Stadium and Itasca Softball Complex, and has lower-level games at Sycamore Park. There have been occasions where the teams have been considered the home team at another school’s field for a game.
With all their games on the road, the teams have to overcome the challenge of getting out of school at 3:30 p.m. and playing a game that starts at 4:45 p.m, which is even a challenge with a field on campus, according to Fivelson.
“Right after eighth period, you got to get to your locker room or car and go grab your uniform and bag. There is no leisure time. You just got to put on your stuff and go,” varsity baseball shortstop Christian Seegers, ‘19, said.
“You have about 10 minutes to stretch,” Bauch said.
According to both coaches, their teams have handled the adjustment well. The players agree, and they have also become closer to each other due to all the bus trips because of this experience.
“It’s just taught us flexibility,” varsity softball catcher Morgan Long, ‘19, said. “It’s taught us we need to be comfortable with everything that’s thrown at us.”
As for the state of Conant’s fields, they should be ready by next spring, according to Athletic Director John Kane. “It’s going to go from one of the worst fields in the conference to one of the best fields in the state,” Kane said.