Weather dampens spirits, practices
The snow storm that hit East Lansing on Wednesday canceled the Spartans' game against Central Michigan, marking the fifth game MSU has lost in the last week due to weather.
"I can tell you in my 14 years here that this has never happened," Joseph said. "We have never had this amount of sustained cold in a row, so this is sort of uncharted water for me."
The weather has not only impacted MSU's game schedule, but also its practice schedule.
"Right now, the most frustrating thing is that you can't get better if you can't practice," Joseph said. "We have not had an opportunity to practice. There's only so much you can do indoors this time of year. We have taken a lot of (batting practice) indoors, we're in the weight room, but there's no substitute for actual on-the-field practicing."
To combat this problem, Joseph said she plans to leave today for the Spartans' two-game series at Illinois, which will take place Friday and Saturday in order to get a practice in down there in preparation for what she calls "a very important series."
The team did make it to the field Tuesday and picked up a 1-0 win at Western Michigan, but it was the first time the Spartans had played since April 3.
"I felt like it was very important to play (Tuesday) and even that much better that we won the game," Joseph said. "It gave our pitchers an opportunity to pitch to live batters; it gave our fielders an opportunity to field balls in the dirt; it gave our hitters an opportunity to hit live pitching. And the fact that we won it, it ought to go a long way for them."
While Joseph says there is no set low temperature for which a game will be canceled, she tends to look at the wind chill more than anything.
"I try not to play a nonconference game if it's not 40 degrees," Joseph said.
"But the conference will play in almost anything as longs as the conditions are deemed safe by both coaches."
Even though the softball team had canceled its doubleheader Sunday against Penn State, the baseball team went ahead and played Purdue that day. Joseph said she personally thought it was too cold to play but that the protocol between Big Ten baseball and softball differs.
"You worry the most about having a player get injured," Joseph said.
"Your muscles just don't perform the same in this kind of weather. The sport wasn't meant to be played in this kind of temperatures."
But while the physical side of the game is always a concern, the mental aspect of not knowing when you are going to be able to play or practice also is a problem, especially after a month and a half of play in the south, where the weather is an afterthought.
"It's very mentally demanding, and it is difficult," Joseph said.