CEDAR LAKE | The third time was in fact not the charm for Wheeler and Hanover Central on Tuesday afternoon.
The highly-anticipated battle between two of the top teams in the Greater South Shore Conference was postponed for the third time after repeated lightning strikes.
The teams were able to play an inning and a half before the first lightning strike. After the mandatory 30-minute delay, the teams returned to the field despite a steady rain.
Just as the players were beginning warmups, three bolts of lightning spread through the sky followed by a thunder clap.
"We think this is eventually going to be a good battle between two really good teams," Wheeler coach Marc Bruner said.
The Bearcats are set to host Hanover Central on Friday, but any thought of a doubleheader has already been put to rest. The Wildcats won't be able to arrive in Union Township until 4 p.m. at the earliest and the Wheeler field doesn't have lights.
"We need to figure out how to get both of these games in," Hanover Central coach Larry McMillen Sr. said.
Despite playing just an inning and a half, the teams got plenty of time to feel each other out on Tuesday. The Bearcats (9-1) loaded the bases on three walks in the first inning before Hanover Central pitcher Ashley Yoways worked out of the jam.
Yoways led off the bottom of the first with a single and eventually made her way to third before Wheeler's Nickole Finch closed out the frame.
"We need to figure out how to throw strikes against them," McMillen Sr. said. "That was very uncharacteristic of (Yoways)."