Weather suspends, postpones district playoff games
A major thunderstorm that had very heavy rain, sharp lightning, marble-size hail, and tree-bending winds forced the suspension yesterday of Lehighton-Central Catholic baseball game at Northwestern.
The game will resume in the top of the second inning at 4 p.m. today at the Sam Balliet Stadium in Coplay.
The storm was an anomaly of sorts in that only a mile from Northwestern High School, at the Route 309 and 143 intersection, there was sunshine.
In most of the TIMES NEWS area, there was only a distant rumble of thunder.
But the full brunt of the storm tore through the Northwestern athletic complex.
It was in the top of the second inning of the District XI semifinal between the Indians and Central when the weather meyhem began.
At the time, the Vikings were leading 4-0 and had the bases loaded with one out.
Many of the fans were talking about the weather. They saw the ominous looking clouds coming closer. Then a streak of lightning occurred in the eastern sky, not close to the players but close enough, none-the-less, to have the umpires stop play.
The rule is that the game can't resume until a half hour after the final lighting strike.
But the lightning intensified and the rains arrived. Soon the wind picked up. Hail began pinging off the dugout roof like beans falling into a cooking pot.
"The field is going to need some overhaul," observed Northwestern High School Principal Dennis Nemes. The running lanes became miniature scale rivers. The powdery dirt areas which emitted clouds of dust with every touch of a player's cleats were transformed into ponded mud.
Within 15 minutes after the storm's arrival, the umpires decided to suspend the game.
Marian's District 11 Class A semifinal softball game against top-seeded Minersville yesterday evening was suspended by lightning in the top of the
third inning. At the time of the suspension, Minersville was holding a commanding 8-1 lead.
Play will resume later this afternoon at 4 p.m. at Blue Mountain's Patton Field. At the time of the suspension, Marian was batting in the top of the third inning with one out and a runner on first base.
The winner of today's game will meet second-seeded Williams Valley (a 6-4 winner over Tri-Valley) next Tuesday evening for the District 11 Class A Championship.
The District 11 Class 3A quarterfinal game between Northwestern and Southern Lehigh was suspended yesterday due to unplayable field conditions.
Southern Lehigh was leading 7-4 and batting with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning when play was stopped.
The game will resume today at 4 p.m. at Southern Lehigh.
The Northwestern-Southern Lehigh Class AA district consolation game was postponed and rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. today at Whitehall.