NCAA baseball and softball do not attract large crowds in the Northeast, in part because of the weather.
In order to complete the season relatively close to graduation at many universities, the NCAA baseball and softball seasons begin in early February and conclude by mid-June.
Because of the start date, teams in the Northeast are forced to travel to warmer locations to begin competition. According to WFUV’s Executive Sports Producer Bob Ahrens, this can put Northeast teams at a disadvantage.
“When Fordham baseball went out to California to play USC at the end of February, they had had only one day of training outside, playing preseason outside in the open air,” Ahrens said. “Everything was indoors, and for Fordham that isn’t unusual.”
In its nine early season games in the warmer weather, the baseball team went 1-8, while the softball team went 11-10 in 21 games in warmer locations.
According to longtime Fordham softball head coach Bridget Orchard, this season’s weather has been exceptionally difficult to maneuver around.
“Normally, we always have trouble here [in New York], but now it’s across the board,” Orchard said. “We went down south and were getting rained out. We went to Furman, South Carolina and it was snowing. It’s been tough across the board, figuring it’s April and we’re still getting snow.”
As a result of this weather in the early season, the softball team had four games cancelled in South Carolina and Florida.
Since opening Bahoshy Field on March 25, the team has seen three additional cancellations. According to Orchard, the seven cancellations have led to the addition of games, including on April 1 against Syracuse.
“They [Syracuse] had some games rained out, so did we,” Orchard said. “We’ll try to pick up games on a nice day. Even though it’s only 40 degrees, it’s a nice day because the sun’s out.”
Since beginning competition in the Northeast on March 8, it has been even more difficult for the baseball team to play games. While they’ve only had three cancellations, there have been countless time, location and date changes.
Fordham Baseball head coach Kevin Leighton says that these changes can be difficult for his team to adapt to, but in the end there’s nothing they can do.
“It can be tough,” Leighton said. “That’s one thing we try to preach to the guys. Control what you can control. The weather is what it is as far as the cold and the rain.”
The Rams have nine baseball games and seven softball games remaining at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus this season. The weather will likely continue to improve as the days go by, but soon enough another poor weather-plagued season of Northeast baseball and softball will come to an end.