New on-campus field to be ready for coming spring

The new softball field will be built on the former football practice field, located between the Susan E. Bauernfeind Wellness Center and Roy Stewart Stadium. || Maddie Mucci/The News

The new softball field will be built on the former football practice field, located between the Susan E. Bauernfeind Wellness Center and Roy Stewart Stadium. || Maddie Mucci/The News

The Murray State softball team will have a new field to play on by the spring of 2013.

The field will be constructed where the football practice field was located. Athletic Director Allen Ward said the on-campus field will provide improved facilities and strengthen the softball program at Murray State.

“It has been our goal all along to provide a place on campus for our new softball program to practice and compete,” Ward said. “Just like any of our other sports, it’s important for them to have visibility on campus and to be close to the other facilities they use during the season.”

Ward said he hopes the field will be open in time for the third softball season at Murray State. Since the program’s start in 2010, the softball team has played at the Murray-Calloway County Park.

The current field was upgraded by Murray State with the installation of a new irrigation system, home and away bullpens, batting cages, perimeter fencing, a new backstop, netting and bleachers.

Along with the renovations of 2010, the softball team received a locker room in Roy Stewart Stadium as well, along with a lounge area.

Ward said the new field gives players the opportunity to use on-campus facilities. In the spring, they will be able to access their locker rooms directly before games and use training rooms when necessary.

Also, the field gives the team the publicity it has not had in the past. With games being played on campus, it will be much more convenient for students to attend. Parking and restrooms will also be much more accessible to fans at the new field.

Ward said while he appreciates the relationship Murray State has with the Murray-Calloway County Parks and Recreation Department, he agrees the softball program needs a field of its own.

“An on-campus facility will help the program in recruiting and building fan support for the young program,” Ward said. “It will help us create a home field advantage similar to that of our other on-campus competition venues.”

Story by Lexy Gross, Staff writer