The long, cold wait for spring
There is something numbing about the thump of a ball into a glove and the crack of a bat when heard in a gymnasium.
It sounds out of place and artificial.
That sound has been heard all too often in the area this year, and Trinity Christian College is no exception. Both the baseball and softball teams had a week’s worth of contests erased by the inclement weather that has wreaked havoc on schedules across the Midwest.
The Trolls baseball squad had all five games scheduled since its return from Florida wiped out. Trinity is slated to play Holy Cross College on Saturday at Notre Dame, if weather and field conditions permit, and then follow up with a doubleheader at home on Sunday.
If that happens, there will be rejoicing. Saturday’s game would be the first for the Trolls in two weeks.
The same situation goes for the softball team. Trinity hasn’t played since March 13.
If everything goes right, the Trolls will host the University of St. Francis today at 3 p.m. in the home opener and Cardinal Stritch University on Friday at 3 p.m. It’s the start of a stretch that will have Trinity on the field for eight days out of the next 10 — or so the Trolls hope.
While Trinity’s teams practice under the roof, their records remain unchanged — the baseball squad is 5-8, the softball team 5-5. And both clubs, especially the pitching staffs, are itching to get going.
If the weather is clear, the local outdoor track season will begin Saturday at North Park College, and the Trolls will be there. If not, they’ll have to wait until at least next Saturday for a meet in Huntington, Ind., the first of four slated for April. ... Trinity’s golf team’s first post-spring break tournament is Monday, a one-day engagement at Briar Leaf in LaPorte, Ind., hosted by Purdue-North Central — weather permitting, of course. April 8 will bring a tournament at Inwood in Joliet, hosted by St. Francis.
Trolls freshman Jared Jones earned the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year award for his play this past season.
Jones, from Waukee, Iowa, paced Trinity and was fifth in the league with a 17.3 points-per-game scoring average. He led all of NAIA Division II with 114 3-pointers and was the CCAC’s best free-throw shooter as he connected at an 87 percent clip from the line.
Jones also collected a spot on the National Christian College Athletic Association All-North Central team. Teammate Jake Van Den Berg was an honorable mention selection.
Both the men’s and women’s squads were awarded the CCAC’s Champions of Character laurel, the league’s sportsmanship award.
Among the individual honors for the women was junior Caitlin Cody’s selection to the NCCAA All-North Central squad. Cody, a transfer student, led Trinity with per-game averages of 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds, which ranked fourth and second, respectively, in the region.
Sophomores Brooke Bambrick and Allie Paluchniak collected regional honorable mention plaudits, while Bambrick and six of her teammates earned scholar-athlete recognition.