Weather delays early games
Baseball team defeats Jeff West; softball team prepares for first games
It's tough to play ball in 100 percent humidity.
So five of Tonganoxie's first six ball games have been cancelled due to rain.
The softball team's first doubleheader of the season, last Thursday at Jefferson West, was cancelled because the field was still wet from early morning rain.
Two games down.
"It was good and bad," said Mark Mall, softball coach. "It's good to have another day of practice, but it also would have been good to have gotten some game experience."
Mall said that the team didn't let the sunny day go to waste and that it put in a good day's practice.
The game has been rescheduled for April 16.
Mall said the team could use the extra day's practice as it headed into Tuesday's match-up with Atchison, but that game, too, was rain-postponed.
Four games down.
And the baseball team had to scramble to get in one of its games against Jeff West on Monday.
The doubleheader, scheduled for 4 p.m. at Tonganoxie, had to be moved to the drier Jeff West fields. But even then the sky exploded with a cloudburst after only one game.
In that game, the Chieftains outscored Jeff West by a run for the final five innings. Unfortunately, Jeff West had a 7-0 lead after the first two, and won the game 7-1.
Coach John Lee said his team had been a little nervous going into its first game, but the players settled down and played with Jeff West after early-game jitters.
"It looked like a first game to tell you the truth," Lee said of the shaky start.
The Chieftains committed nine errors in the game.
"Any time you have that many errors, you're not going to win a ball game," Lee said.
But there were several things the Chieftains did well after their nerves settled.
Though they only batted .222 as a team, several players found their grooves at the plate.
Four players batted .500 on the day. Kelly Woelk and Zach Sanders both went 1-2. Each of their hits was a double.
Seniors Ryan Lowe and Kyle Rodell went 2-4. Lowe had the team's only RBI of the day. Rodell scored that run and had two stolen bases.
Lee said that he was particularly impressed with Rodell's play, both on offense and defense. His speed and quickness not only netted him two steals, but also helped him make several big plays in the outfield.
"Kyle Rodell had a great game," Lee said. "He snagged, what, three or four of those long balls."
Lee said he also was please with the performances of Lowe and Matt Alexander, his two pitchers in the game.
The two combined for five innings of shutout baseball and four strikeouts. They only gave up five hits one fewer than Jeff West's pitchers. They walked three runners.
The baseball team's next scheduled game is 4 p.m. Thursday at Basehor-Linwood.
The softball team's next game is 4:30 p.m. Thursday vs. Basehor-Linwood.