Softball unveils first stage of field renovations

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the newly renovated softball field on Monday.


Dave Holmquist, Lorie Coleman, and Greg Vaughan gather around while President Barry Corey cuts the ribbon. | Tyler Gunhus/THE CHIMES

Tyler Gunhus, Writer

Dave Holmquist, Lorie Coleman, and Greg Vaughan gather around while President Barry Corey cuts the ribbon. | Tyler Gunhus/THE CHIMES


A new era dawned for the Biola softball team as the newly refurbished Freedom Field was unveiled at Monday’s opening ceremony.

The afternoon festivities were highlighted by a ribbon cutting and ceremonial first pitch thrown out by president Barry Corey.

The original softball field, according to vice president of Enrollment Management Greg Vaughan, was a middle school baseball diamond.

“This field opened 20 years ago as we started our softball program for the first time,” Vaughan said, addressing the group gathered at the ceremony. “Basically we put fences in the outfield and a scoreboard up, and that’s about all we did for 20 years.”

Head softball coach Lorie Coleman said a redesign and refurbishment was not the original intent for the field.

A crooked home plate 

“The whole project started because we had a crooked home plate … our field was not straight. So all I did was ask that someone come out and straighten out home plate,” Coleman said, during the ceremony. “It was Greg Vaughan who had compassion on us; [he] came out here and realized [the field] was in bad shape.”

From there, the project took off as Biola began to search for funds and find a means of improving, as athletic director Dave Holmquist put it, “the last athletic facility that was in bad shape.”

The revamping of the field is “the first phase of the 2 million dollar project [that] includes the creation of two new bullpens, new dugouts including a team room attached to the home dugout, a netted backstop, an equipment storage room and new concrete for the spectator area,” according to a Biola Athletics press release.

The recently completed refurbishment is the first step of a three-part plan which, according to the release, will eventually included “a covered batting facility, covered bullpens, enlarged bleacher system with press box, field lighting, concession space and public restroom facilities.”

Ceremony postponed after wet weather

The ceremony was scheduled to be followed by Biola’s season opener against La Sierra University at home, but it was postponed to due the rainy weekend and the wet condition of the field. Following the alumni game this Saturday, the girls look to open their season strong as they take on Menlo College Feb. 6 in Atherton with an 11 a.m. first pitch.

The Eagles are coming off a subpar season of 15-29, with an abysmal 1-15 conference record. Despite disappointment throughout the season, 12 of the 29 losses came in games decided by only one point. With a fresh batch of incoming talent, strong upperclassmen leadership, and a beautiful new field, Biola softball appears energized and ready to move forward into a hopeful and exciting 2013 season.

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