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MCC baseball, softball teams at big weather disadvantage

March 1, 2013 - Andy Heintz
Playing collegiate softball and baseball in the Midwest can be tricky when the month of February has plenty of snow and wet weather.

Teams in the South and West can get 15 games in before the Midwest schools even take the field for a practice.

But is it a disadvantage to not being able to be outside for much of the preseason.

MCC baseball coach Rich Grife thinks so

"You do the best you can with indoor practice, but you know what you are getting into," he said. "Some years are fine. Last year was great this year has been a little tougher. Most of our kids are from Iowa so they are used to it by now. There is not much we can do about it."

MCC softball coach Jeff Lamb says being inside is a disadvantage but it does come with a few advantages as well.

"We have to focus more on fundamentals when you are inside," Lamb said. "We have to make sure everyone is doing something all the time, which is a good thing. You can get away with standing around outside sometimes. But there is no standing around when you are inside because you don't have anything else to do."

The Tigers can still inside and pitchers can still throw as if they were throwing outside.

The part most affected by the weather is defense, especially with outfielders who can't field fly balls inside a practice gym.

"It is really hard to practice indoors because we are all really confined in here," said sophomore third baseman Erica White, who hit 11 HRs for the Tigers last year. "We can't work on pop flys, but I think it helps our hitting. You hit where the ball is going and you don't have to try to pull everything."

MCC pitcher Stacy Roggentein, who is expected to be the team's ace, said she can't wait to get outside.

"Once you are inside for a long time, you can't wait to get back outside," she said. "It is really hard to hit in a cage every day. The balls also bounce off the floor much different than they bounce off the dirt and grass outside. All the outfielders can really work on is ground balls."

Both MCC teams are out of town this weekend for a few games. The baseball team is currently 1-2 while the softball team has not yet played. The Tiger baseball team has their home opener on March 16 against Ellsworth. The Tiger women open their home slate on March 14 against Indian Hills.


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