LISLE — Pete Meyer was looking at a familiar sight, but it looked nothing like what he’s used to.
Lisle’s baseball coach was viewing a video on WGN’s website that showed his team’s baseball field, but instead of chalk-white foul lines, outfield grass and infield dirt, there was standing water.
“You couldn’t even see the outfield fence,” said Meyer. “It was under seven feet of water.”
Last week’s torrential rains wreaked havoc for Lisle High School, whose baseball and softball teams play at Lisle Community Park on the banks of the DuPage River. The constant rain made the river overflow its banks and left most of the park, and both ball fields, completely underwater.
Meyer said he and most of his players survived the flooding. According to Meyer, one player’s family dealt with rising water by sucking it up with an army of shop-vacs. A few players on Jen Pomatto’s softball team had it much worse.
“We have girls that lost their houses,” Pomatto said on Friday. “Softball is a nice distraction, but we had girls that had to stay in a shelter Thursday night. Our focus is on making sure the community gets through this.”
The road to recovery for the softball team started Saturday as it went 2-1 and won the consolation title at the Byron tournament. Summer Stitt won both games on the mound and helped her own cause in an 8-0 Game 2 win over North Boone by going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs. Facing Pecatonica in the consolation championship, Kristen Holub went 2-for-3 with a triple, home run and three RBIs and Hayley Belina went 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs and an RBI as Lisle won 10-0.
“Everybody was with us and everybody played,” Pomatto said of the Byron tourney as her team improved to 7-4. “It was a good distraction. We wanted to play so it was nice to be out there. It was good to see each other and be together and focus on something other than the flood.”
After having its own weekend tournament canceled, the baseball team was scheduled to travel to face Guerin on Saturday. That game was called off because of frost on Gueriun’s field.
Lisle athletic director Dan Dillard said Monday morning that the water had receded and both fields were free of standing water. Yet it remains to be seen when, or if, the baseball and softball teams can play on their home fields.
“We hope we continued to be surprised with how things unfold, but the park district has a lot of work to do and I’m not sure how prepping ball fields fits into all that,” Dillard said.
Dillard has been contacting other schools in the area to see if the Lions can play their softball and baseball games on other fields, but making those arrangements might be easier said than done.
“We’re calling around to see if anyone can help us out, but because of the weather we’ve had all spring they’re starting to get backed up, so we’re kind of on hold right now,” Dillard said.
Pomatto was able to get a look at the softball field Monday.
“There’s no water, but it’s mushy and there’s a lot of debris,” she said. “To my understanding we’re not going to be able to play or practice there this week. We have our fingers crossed on next week, but we’ll see.”