Freedom Field receives renovations

Softball field’s playability improved during the summer.

Jack Finck, Writer

Last season the Biola women’s softball team finished second in the Golden State Athletic Conference and made it to the opening round of Nationals for the second year in a row. While they will face new challenges in the upcoming year including graduating seniors and a large freshman class, the overall condition of the home field will not be one of them.

New and Improved

One of the biggest changes to the field is a laser-leveled surface and an enhanced irrigation system. The previous field would not absorb the water, forcing the team to not practice or play games on the field for several days after it rained or a sprinkler leaked. Another problem the new surfacing will fix are the holes and dips that used to be safety hazards on last season’s field.

“We also replaced all of the infield conditioner mix and actually we had a donor who donated all of that material to us. So a really nice savings to the project through that really nice donation,” said Brian Phillips,senior director of facilities management .  

A Warning System

Perhaps the most noticeable new feature added to Freedom Field this summer is a warning track. The track is designed to let the outfielders know when they are close to the fence to ensure that they do not run into it. Last season, Biola also had an issue with balls getting stuck between the grass and the fence–another problem eliminated by the warning track.

“I love it,” said junior outfielder Kasey Hormell. “I had to count my steps, so before every game I would go out and count my steps. It got to a point where I knew how many steps [to the wall] roughly where I was from, and if I had to go back I would have to to count my steps and then really listen to the other outfielders to tell me when I’m getting close to the fence.”

More to Come

The next step in the renovations for Freedom Field includes widening the bullpens to make them more easily used as a batting cage. Facilities hopes to have this accomplished before the beginning of the season early next year.

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