Men's 16 Inch Softball Loses All Momentum Due To Rainout
by Cristian Trandafir
On October 10, Northside's 16-inch men's varsity softball team faced a giant setback on their #RoadToCity. The players drove and carpooled to Little Cubs Field in Humboldt Park, as they got ready to take on Taft in the city semifinals. If Northside won, they would play Whitney Young in the city finals right after. When asked if they were worried about the back-to-back games, Jadd Oweimrin, Adv. 803, said "We've been playing best of two series all season, so I'm not worried about the team's endurance." The 5.5 mile trek from Northside to Humboldt Park, however, proved to be a huge challenge before the games even started. Many players showed up with fewer than ten minutes to spare for the 4:30 p.m. game time. Warm-ups were quick and energetic, consisting of sprints around the bases as well as catching and throwing pop-ups to teammates. Both teams tried to drown out the other when chanting "Mustangs" and "Eagles." Northside got ready to bat and Taft took the field. The ump gave the signal, and the game started.
Benjamin Rosengard, Adv. 803, led off, hitting a double. Oweimrin hit a single, and due to a miscommunication from the other team, Rosengard landed at home plate. Daniel O'Connor, Adv. 901, stepped up next, blasting the ball to center field, which got Oweimrin home safely. The next three batters all connected, unfortunately the balls stalled in the air due to the wind and were caught by the Taft fielders. Taft stepped up and followed through with two runs of their own. As the wind began to pick up, the sky grew darker. After an exciting first inning, there was relatively little action in the second and third.
The score was still 2-2 in the fourth inning. Suddenly, the rain kicked in as Taft stepped up to bat. A Taft batter hit the ball high up into the air as Northside's outfield scrambled to catch it. Not even having cleats could help Rodrigo Knutson, Adv. 801, as the ball slipped just past him. However, because there was no lightning, the game continued. Taft followed up back-to-back doubles with a ground ball to Rosengard, who dove to pick up the ball, but massively overthrew it past first base, as the ball flew above Benjamin Morris, Adv. 807. The Mustangs struggled to get outs, as the rain made it practically impossible to throw and catch. Before getting three outs, Taft ran the score up to 8-2.
As Northside stepped up to bat at the beginning of the 5th inning, the umps informed the coaches that the game was officially rained out, meaning it would have to be put on pause and rescheduled to continue at another date. Softball games usually start over when they get rained out, but because the semifinal game went past the 4th inning, the official softball rulebook says that the match will continue with the same score and number of innings. Because the score was 8-2 with just a few innings left, things were looking bleak for the team.
The game continued two days later at the same location. Northside stepped up to bat. Oweimrin hit a single and advanced to third on a single by Charlie Guthmann, Adv. 800. Rosengard then hit a sacrifice fly ball in order to score Oweimrin. After a single by Morris, Lehman stepped up and hit in Guthmann. Although Northside scored two, Taft came right back and scored two runs of their own. Because the Mustangs were unable to score again, the game ended in a 10-4 defeat. Fernando Velázquez, Adv. 800, reflected on the game and season by saying, "I think it wasn't fair because of the rain, but even our coach told us he was proud of the way we played all season. I wish we could have won city, but it was a fun season all around."