SPRINGBORO — Tuesday’s much-anticipated sectional softball final between Clinton-Massie and Monroe was derailed after only eight minutes.
The culprit? A poorly-secured first base bag.
After attempting to secure the base for 21 minutes with no success, the coaches, athletic directors and umpires decided to suspend the game.
The game will resume 2 p.m. Wednesday at Lefferson Park in Middletown with the Hornets batting in the bottom of the first inning of a scoreless game.
“It’s tough,” CM head coach Andy Lauer said. “We spent our whole entire practice (Monday), we spent from the time they got out of school preparing for this. You get your pitchers warm, you do all of your pregame work, and three outs later we’re packing up and we’re going home.”
The non-existent base anchor was discovered during the second batter of the game. Taylor Florea grounded out to third. As she hit the bag, the base popped out of the ground.
At that point, the umpires and coaches discovered there was no sleeve to hold the pegs in the ground.
After Lindsey Amberger struck out to end the top half of the first, work began to make sure the base was secure in the ground.
After a dig-out tool proved to be useless, shovels and rakes were brought in to try to secure the base. All efforts proved fruitless.
After halting play at 5:08, the umpires officially suspended the game for the evening at 5:39.
“I think I can speak for Monroe’s coach as well — he’s got a great team and we’ve got a great team,” Lauer said. “Our girls are gamers. They’re players. We’ll show up tomorrow, we’ll take off in the bottom of the first and we’ll start it again.”
It was an ending that frustrated both coaches, umpires and players alike. However, as Lauer pointed out, player safety trumped the inconvenience of having to wait until Wednesday to finish.
Lauer told his team Tuesday just ended up being one extended practice.
“We hit before we left our school,” Lauer said. “We did all of our tee work. We did our front toss. Our pitchers got loose here. We did infield, we did outfield. Simply, we got a practice in today. At least we weren’t sitting idle doing absolutely nothing.
“Now we’ve got to show up tomorrow and we’ve got to play.”
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton