Baseball, softball teams find success amid rain and snow

Minnesota pitcher Tom Windle endures sleet and snow during a game Friday, April 5, 2013, at Siebert Field.

Amanda Snyder, Daily File Photo

Minnesota pitcher Tom Windle endures sleet and snow during a game Friday, April 5, 2013, at Siebert Field.

Drew Claussen

Brutal weather in the upper Midwest has thrown a wrench in many people’s daily routines this spring.

The Gophers’ baseball and softball teams have found success amid the bad conditions, which have caused several games to be postponed or canceled.

Both teams won two of three games at home last weekend, when snow and rain hit the University of Minnesota campus.

The baseball team opened its new on-campus ballpark, Siebert Field, to snow flurries Friday and rain Saturday. The weather interrupted two of the Gophers’ three games against Ohio State and forced a doubleheader Sunday.

Minnesota was also scheduled to host Winona State on Tuesday at Siebert Field, but freezing rain in the morning prompted a cancellation before noon.

Wednesday’s game against St. John’s was also postponed because the Johnnies are using the day to make up a conference game.

Prior to last weekend, the baseball team played its home games at the climate-free Metrodome. The dome, which has served Gophers baseball since 1985, will be demolished after the Minnesota Vikings complete their 2013 season.

The $7.5 million Siebert Field is a blessing for the Gophers, who haven’t had a reliable home on campus in recent years. But like any outdoor stadium, it’s subject to the conditions.

“Be careful what you wish for,” head coach John Anderson said after Sunday’s game. “You go back outside and you’ve got to deal with the weather. That’s always the thing you can’t control.”

Minnesota will travel to Evanston, Ill., this weekend for a three-game set against Northwestern, and the climate could cause problems there, too.

Forecasts call for temperatures around 50 degrees and chances of rain Friday and Sunday.

The Gophers softball team was scheduled to play a televised doubleheader Wednesday against Nebraska in Lincoln. But it was postponed Monday because of looming bad weather conditions and instead will be played next Tuesday — untelevised.

The Gophers had their home opener against Wisconsin last Friday postponed to Saturday because of snow and rain.

Minnesota won the opener, which featured a 147-minute rain delay.

“We do really well when we have rain delays,” pitcher Sara Moulton said Sunday after the team split a doubleheader with Wisconsin. “We stay mentally in it.”

Both teams played in better weather Sunday before the conditions worsened again to start the week.

Softball head coach Jessica Allister said the Gophers have become accustomed to playing in and waiting out the elements.

“Our girls love the rain delays,” Allister said. “They’ve really embraced it as a team, which has played a huge role.”

Allister said it seemed like every home game the team had last season was rain delayed.

“You can’t control it,” Allister said. “It’s part of playing an outdoor sport.”