When you play an outdoor Spring sport in South Dakota you need to be prepared for anything. But even the best planning in the world couldn't have accounted for the schedule disruptions caused by our extended Winter in the first four months of 2018.

Just ask the softball team at South Dakota State, who have hit the diamond 44 times already this season and have yet to play in front of their home fans in Brookings.

The Jackrabbits knew going in that the home portion of their season was going to be back-loaded - with 34 straight on the road to start 2018, but then 11 of their final 19 regular season games scheduled for their home field in Brookings.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

Of those 11 potential home dates, several were relocated to Sioux Falls because of lousy weather; a trio were flat out canceled.

And so here we are, with just one doubleheader left to close out the regular season, and finally the Jackrabbits will play in Brookings, when they host a twin bill against North Dakota, Tuesday (May 1).

That match-up will officially put an end to the longest current road trip in the nation -  44 games. But all of that 'away time' hasn't had a negative impact on SDSU's season. The Jacks (31-13, 10-4 Summit League) are in second place in the conference and have already locked in the program's best non-conference record at the Division I level.