Monday, February 13, 2006

New Baseball/Softball Complex Opens

The Bearkats win big as their new baseball and softball fields open - and fans loved it, as noted in the Huntsville Item (Feb. 12, 2006):
A large fan base braved the cold, windy weather Saturday for a first look at the Sam Houston State Bearkat Softball and Baseball Complex.

Huntsville resident Dave Smith said he’s watched the complex grow from the ground up.  “I really like it,” he said during the Bearkat women’s game Saturday. “I live near here, so I got to enjoy watching it go up.  I used to walk here when it was woods. I used to find cougar and deer tracks here,” he said. “And, now we’re playing softball here. It’s just beautiful.”

“It’s just a lot nicer,” [student Cordy] Raney said, just as the Bearkats hit their first grand slam in the new softball park. “And, now I don’t have to worry about my car getting slammed anymore.”  The old parking at the softball team’s former home on Avenue M was located directly behind home plate. At the new facility, parking was only one of the many things considered when building.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Opening Day Only Five Days Away

Preparing for opening day at the new Bearkat baseball and softball fields as reported in the Huntsville Item (Feb. 5, 2006):
Opening day at the brand-new Bearkat Baseball and Softball Complex is just a few days away. On Friday, the Bearkat baseball team throws out the first pitch at its fabulous new facility above Bowers Stadium. Texas Southern comes to town for an evening game under the lights, and the Tigers stick around for a three-game weekend series.

Softball season starts Saturday afternoon at the Bearkats’ new stadium next door to the baseball park. The Bearkats play Louisiana Tech at 3:15 p.m. in the opening game of the Domino’s Pizza Bearkat Invitational.

Having worked out in the new facilities since last fall, the Bearkats say they can’t wait to show off their new homes. Baseball and softball players at SHSU finally have something to be proud of, and they look forward to hitting the field for the 2006 season in front of overflow crowds.

One of the most impressive things about the new baseball/softball complex is an indoor facility that has spacious locker rooms, indoor batting cages, coaches’ offices and conference rooms. There is also a place for players to meet before or after practices and games.

Down the hill a bit at the new softball complex, the Bearkats feel the same way as the baseball guys. SHSU’s softball players are taking full advantage of some of the new features that weren’t available to them at the old, off-campus field on Avenue M.  They now have a chance to play or practice at night thanks to the new stadium lighting. There is also a state-of-the-art sound system, chairback seats, and even bathrooms in the dugouts.

Besides all the new bells and whistles, the softball field is like most others. The dimensions are 190 feet down the right- and left-field foul poles and 220 to center.  At the Bearkat Baseball Complex, it’s 330 feet down the lines, 375 to the power alleys and 400 to dead center, where there’s a 30-foot wall staring hitters straight in the face.