Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Move-in day nears

Softball’s new, state-of-the-art stadium is almost complete

copycat — The softball stadium was modeled after the larger baseball stadium, which sits just a few hundred yards away. Photo credit: Olivia Miorelli

Copycat — The softball stadium was modeled after the larger baseball stadium, which sits just a few hundred yards away. Photo credit: Olivia Miorelli

Construction on the new Liberty Softball Stadium is reaching the final stages. Students, faculty and passers-by can see how the piles of dirt and closed roads from last spring have transformed into, as Athletic Director Jeff Barber says, a “first-rate stadium.”

Liberty broke ground on the softball stadium October 19, 2013. It is scheduled for completion by the spring of 2015 for the softball season, according to Associate Athletics Communications Director Ryan Bomberger.

The new softball stadium is being built on the lot where Al Worthington Stadium, the old baseball stadium, used to be. It has been designed to mirror the new
baseball stadium.

Bomberger said that the completed stadium will include 1,000 chair-back seats, locker rooms for home and away teams, coaches’ offices, a scoreboard, batting cages, a training room, a team meeting room and a press box situated behind home plate.

“We built what is being reported as one of the best softball stadiums in the country, perhaps in the world.” Barber said.

The new field will feature a turf outfield and foul area. The infield will be a special type of dirt that is much more water repellant than normal field dirt.

In the coming months, the Lady Flames will be leaving their current stadium located beside Dorm 32, where they have played since it was built in 1994. Junior infielder Holly Seiz said the team is practicing at the old stadium until they move into their new home.

The current stadium has a seating capacity of 500. It is equipped with batting cages in center field and a storage area along the home foul area.

“We want to win the National Championship in softball,” Barber said. “So to do that, you have got to have good facilities and the right coach. We believe we have both of them right now. We are excited about the future.”

According to Bomberger, the old stadium will be plowed and cleared once the new one is completed. For the immediate future, the area will be turned into a grass area. Bomberger also mentioned that there will be no big changes to the layout of the area surrounding, and there will not be any major construction.

Seiz and the Lady Flames will now get the opportunity to play at what she believes to be one of the nicest softball stadiums in the country.
“We’re going to have all of the tools we need to be successful,” Seiz said.

Progress of the softball stadium and surrounding areas can be viewed through construction cameras online
at liberty.edu.

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