WOU baseball and softball fields get upgrades

WOU’s softball field is undergoing renovations for a new turf and a drainage system that should be ready late fall.

Photo by Jennifer Biberston
WOU’s softball field is undergoing renovations for a new turf and a drainage system that should be ready late fall.

MONMOUTH — The Western Oregon University baseball and softball fields are receiving a substantial makeover this summer.

After years of lost practices and suspended games because of unplayable conditions, both fields will finally receive a Bernhardt Golf Drainage system installed in the outfield, which will improve outfield playability in the natural grass area, and the softball field will also receive a new turf in addition to a new backstop.

Having drainage in the baseball fields means being able to use the field more without it turning into a lake when it rains.

“We are excited to have the drainage in the outfield,” said head baseball coach Kellen Walker. “It has been awhile since the outfield has had much attention and it’s definitely a needed project that will be appreciated by our program. “

Because of the conditions of the fields, both teams have had to cancel or move home games to other locations due to the unplayable conditions after rain. The drainage systems will not only give the Wolves more home team advantage, but it will also reduce the costs associated with travel and renting off-campus facilities.

“It’s been challenging the past couple of seasons having to move a handful of home games to other sites,” Walker said. “Our players and coaches deserve a lot of credit for being able to continue to have success without playing a full home schedule.”

On the softball field, getting a turf and a new backstop will not only improve the Wolves’ season, but the overlook of the complex.

“I think the one thing, is that, even if it does rain, with the new drainage in the outfield, and the turf in the infield, we should be able to get those games in,” said head softball coach Lonny Sargent. “Just the upgrade in the backstop, I think the whole look of the complex is just gonna be much better.”

Two years ago, the Wolves softball team didn’t have a single home game because of how bad their field conditions were.

With the turf, next season should be different.

“We gave a better chance of inviting teams here to play,” Sargent said.

Over 12,000 feet of turf will be installed in the softball field.

The turf installation and the drainage systems should be ready to go by late October, Walker said.

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