Finally, the SCU softball team is safe at home.
After years of dodging potholes, practicing in the dark, and slipping on soggy grass, the women athletes now have a first-rate home field complete with lights and an efficient drainage system.
“It’s a first in the program’s history,” said Lisa Mize, head softball coach. “It’ll be great to have our student body and fans see us play on a Division 1-caliber field. It’s such a relief from a safety aspect, and our outfielders will especially appreciate the new grass; everyone will be training much more aggressively.”
In the past, the team played its home games at various city parks and at other schools, Mize explained. “We were never able to get comfortable as a team with a home-field advantage, and practices were pretty tough because of the old field’s poor conditions,” she said.
The new field is designated exclusively for SCU’s softball program. It’s the first step in a master plan to construct a $3 million stadium facility. That capital project will continue moving forward as funding becomes available.
The new, regulation-sized site opened for play at the end of September. Getting it ready involved tearing up the old ground, re-grading, installing irrigation, and re-sodding the area, according to Joe Sugg, assistant vice president of University Operations. The new drainage system will come in handy, as it will allow players to take to the field quickly following a heavy rainfall.
Located at the northeast end of Bellomy Field, near Accolti Way and El Camino Real, the natural-grass site has been reoriented to minimize the chance of balls going out into the street, as they did frequently in the past. “Now we’ve got lights, a real fence and netting to make things safer,” said Sugg. “In fact, the field is at the same quality level as Buck Shaw Stadium.”
Coach Mize sees the team’s new playing ground as “a tremendous step in the right direction for SCU softball.” She said the field brings significant benefits to both the University and its students. “As we train and get ready for the season, we’ll have better, more efficient practices, leading to more program recognition for SCU,” she said. “And, most importantly, we’ll have happier student-athletes because now they can train on a proper field.”