Though it is officially the spring season, Kostrinsky Field still lies empty, because the Ithaca area winter conditions have done some damage. The weather has left the field with frozen dirt, raw grass and a few scattered patches of snow.
Until the weather becomes warmer and the remaining snow melts off the field, the Bombers will not have any chance for home field advantage. Last weekend, the Bombers’ home-opening series against the University of Rochester was postponed because of poor field conditions.
This is not the first time the Bombers have had home-opening games canceled. During the 2006 season, inclement weather canceled the home opener against SUNY-Brockport. Unless games are rescheduled on Kostrinsky before April 5, the team will play its first 18 games on the road.
Last season, the Bombers lost two one-score games when traveling to Rochester early in the season. Junior infielder Julianne Vincent, who is tied for a team high with 11 hits this season, said she has been looking forward to the rematch ever since the team walked off the field in Rochester last season.
“We’ve always played [Rochester] really close, and having our first two games at home with them would’ve been a great challenge for our team,” she said.
Despite the weather being out of the hands of the Bombers, Head Coach Deb Pallozzi said it is frustrating for the team to have to miss an entire weekend of games this early on in the season.
“We tend to play well here [Kostrinsky Field], and it’s tough when we start with so many games away from home,” she said.
Since joining the Empire 8 in 2002, the Bombers softball squad has won at least 10 games at home every season and has also hosted the conference tournament nine different seasons. Junior Sydney Folk said this season, the goal remains to host and win the Empire 8 tournament in May.
“It’s just a lot more comfortable for the entire team when we don’t have to travel, and we can hopefully get into the NCAA tournament by playing in the same place we play almost half our games.”
Unless the Bombers reschedule their two-game series with Rochester before April 5, the Bombers next home game will be against Buffalo State at 1 p.m. April 7.
Until then, the Bombers will take the field next for a contest against the Stevens Institute of Technology, followed by three doubleheader matches away from South Hill.
Even with the delaying of games in the early part of the season, senior infielder Molly O’Donnell says she just wants to play no matter what the venue is.
“At a certain point you just want to get outside and play, because we practice so long inside, and now all we want to do is enjoy every time we get to play on our home field in front of our home crowd.”