You've heard of rain delays, strike-abbreviated seasons and you've even heard of April snowouts, but you still haven't heard of everything. Yesterday afternoon's Harvard-Tufts softball game produced yet another bizarre sports scheduling phenomenon: game called on account of cold umpire.
Webster Field was undeniably freezing but when the plate umpire announced that she had seen and shivered enough during five-and-a-third innings, both teams objected vehemently. Even the hapless Jumbos, who were losing, 15-3, refused to call it a game.
"It's ridiculous for an umpire to call a game without consulting the coaches," Harvard Coach John Wentzell said. "Both teams wanted to continue. I can't believe she just called it."
Immediately after the officials left the field, Crimson Assistant Coach Steve Miller took over at home, and Harvard Co-Captain Diane Boteler opened the remaining "unofficial" innings with an RBI single. For all the umps know, the two squads are still going at it.
Wentzell and his charges in particular had every reason to be disturbed by the decision. The team lost nearly half its schedule to the April blizzard, and with the Ivy champion-ships coming up this weekend, the Crimson nine could use some more competitive experience. And they could stand some experienced competition as well.
"It's nice to go into the lives with a winning record [4-3], but wish we'd played more of a threat. They're [the Jumbos] only a club team--they're about where we were three years ago," Wentzell said after the game. "We'll have a long work out tomorrow and get our pitchers to go three or four innings in game situations against our own hitters."
Senior pitcher Val Romero went the official distance in yesterday's game, and her two-hit performance should get her out of some of today's practice session. Despite the weather, Romero maintained her grip on the ball and threw strikes until the ump decided to stop calling them.
The cold didn't silence the Crimson bats either, but it did muffle them.
Only an obscene number of walks and wild pitches from the Jumbo hurlers let Harvard score in double figures. The team accumulated only eight hits, and of their 15 runs, only five were earned.
THE NOTEBOOK: Crimson catcher Gill Raney, who Jammed her thumb in Tuesday's win over Wheaton, coached first base yesterday to rest up for the rigorous six-game Ivy tournament weekend Freshman Joanie Cunningham filled in and got Harvard out a Jam in the fifth when she threw out a Tutts baserunner at third. E. Dwyer Lichstein, Siegeistein, Smith, 2. Cunngham, Home Sackaroff Friedman 28-Philips 28-Waish Jackovic 2. Friedman, Home Sackaroff. WP. Romero 2 Dwyer 4 Smith 3 PB-Fern lp H R ER BB SO Romero (W) 5 2 3 0 3 2 Dwyer(L) 0 0 5 3 3 0 Smith 41/2 8 10 2 3 0
E. Dwyer Lichstein, Siegeistein, Smith, 2. Cunngham, Home Sackaroff Friedman 28-Philips 28-Waish Jackovic 2. Friedman, Home Sackaroff. WP. Romero 2 Dwyer 4 Smith 3 PB-Fern
lp H R ER BB SO Romero (W) 5 2 3 0 3 2 Dwyer(L) 0 0 5 3 3 0 Smith 41/2 8 10 2 3 0