Spring is here, and Cyclone softball is happy to hear that

Iowa State’s Kaylee Bosworth gets waved home by coach Jamie Pinkerton during the Cyclones’ 11-4 loss to Texas March 30, 2018, at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

Ivan Vega

Welcome spring season to Ames. For some, it seems that the winter will never come, and some are finally relieved to see the sun.

Some people are feeling better than others, because a long winter may be good for people who love snow, but is awful for first-year head coach Jamie Pinkerton and the 2018 Cyclone softball team.

While it may not be the first time Iowa State’s climate in Ames has been an issue for the softball team, it definitely doesn’t get easier as the year progresses. From games and practices, to studying and even multiple bus rides, the Cyclones are always waiting to see if they will be able to play at home during the season.

“Has it played havoc with our practice schedule? Yes,” Pinkerton said. “Has it played havoc with continuity of our season and what we do day in and day out? Yes, but we live in a northern climate and I got to give a tip to the cap to my staff and my players.”

Originally meant to play Big 12 foe and the defending national champions — Oklahoma — the games were canceled due to the poor conditions that were not playable.

That doesn’t seem like much, but when talking about what actually occurs when a game is canceled, it turns out to be a lot. With multiple games in a series, the games must be remade for the 2018 season, especially if the games are in-conference.

To give a clear rundown of what happens when a game is canceled, this is what occurs.

First, the players are notified that the playing conditions will not be playable.

Then, the team must await final confirmation from league officials.

Finally, the players will have to get confirmation if and when the games will be re-scheduled.

Should the game be rescheduled, the Cyclones will immediately get ready to travel again, which is a very common factor for northern climate teams. The players and coaches could then travel anywhere in the Big 12.

This was the case for this year’s series against the Sooners. The Cyclones were forced to make up the game in Norman, Oklahoma, the Sooners’ home field.

This wasn’t the case of the games against the Leathernecks of Western Illinois. Both teams were ready to go, but the day of the game, the officials ruled the game conditions too cold. The games were canceled for the weekend.

During the 2016-17 season, only one game was canceled due to the weather. This year alone, the Cyclones lost four potential home games, along with a re-scheduled game against the Northern Iowa Panthers in Cedar Falls.

“Today’s pretty much a microcosm of what our year has been like,” Pinkerton said. “We know we’re not going outside. Our regular time [at Bergstrom] is at 6 [p.m.], but football is gracious enough to let us in at 4 [p.m.] to keep the players on a schedule.”

While it may seem like a burden on the football facilities, the players are the ones always rushing in and out of several areas in Ames.

“There’s just a lot more planning that has to go into it because we’re usually out of the [Bergstrom] after spring break,” said outfielder Kaila Konz. “We have to move our [equipment] back and forth. We’re outside yesterday, and I had to grab my stuff to make sure I had it for today. And then having classes on top of it.”

In all of this, the only people benefiting are the pitchers. With additional days of rest, the pitchers have an opportunity to rest their arms and potentially be fresh and avoid any more strain.

Such is the case of junior Emma Hylen. As of April 22, she is 9-9 on the season with an ERA of 3.60 in 28 games (18 started). She has played a total of 114.2 innings, racking up 70 strikeouts.

“I think this far in the season it does suck that those games got canceled, but it was since some of us have been getting quite a few innings in, that it is nice to rest those arms,” Hylen said. “But I mean you always want to be facing as many batters as you can, so we’ve been scrimmaging a little bit more.”

Still, the effects of these schedule changes do not come without fault for the 6’3” pitcher from Minnesota.

“The hardest thing is, on the road is harder to stay warm and focus. If you don’t have anywhere to go, you just have to sit in the hotel,” Hylen said. “If you’re at home, you can find something to do. You can go hang out in the locker room. But as long as you have your routine or restart it later on the day, I think most people will be fine.”

The Cyclones have four more home games and should this spring weather permit, there will be little scheduling to be re-done. Iowa State will await Iowa and Baylor this week.