If you build it, they will play. And fans will attend, and women's softball will become Oberlin's newest varsity sport sensation.
Dennis Greive, project manager for the construction of the new women's softball field at Oberlin College, is the man in charge of making this field of dreams a reality.
Women's softball, according to Grieve, is really on the rise as a college varsity sport. Therefore, this new undertaking by the Grounds Department - the construction of a state-of-the-art facility for the spring sport - may rank among the most important additions to the Oberlin landscape in recent memory. Softball will become a women's varsity sport at Oberlin when spring arrives, giving talented female players a chance to compete on a more serious level.
The project itself is on schedule. Due to be completed in late March, the field will have an angular configuration, according to Greive, that will recall the structure of Jacobs Field in Cleveland. With a distance of approximately 190 feet to each foul pole and 220 feet to deep center, the dimensions will be regular, and outfielders will surely appreciate the red clay warning track.
The infield will also employ a turf warning track behind the plate and along the fence behind the baselines, which will make for a cleaner, cooler, and softer surface while providing infielders and catchers with sufficient traction.
Greive hopes that the skinned infield, composed of baked clay, silt and sand, will permit play as soon as one hour after an inch of rain has fallen. Since spring in Ohio can be very rainy, this is a key feature of the Grounds Departments plan for the field, which will cover one acre in total. Renovations to the nearby baseball field to make it more rain-worthy as well are in the planning stages.
Greive has emphasized that all of the funds for this project will be going into particulars of the field itself with clear benefits to anyone using the facilities. The field will have a laser-installed drainage system, a technological advance developed within the past five years. In addition, the vinyl-coated fencing will be of highest quality and will therefore be especially easy to see through. Finally, a state-of-the-art irrigation system is to be installed next summer in an effort to ensure the lawn's well-being for many seasons to come.
In short, this newest addition to the sport's facilities presents a shining image of the future-a description equally befitting the team that will take to the field this spring.
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 128, Number 2, September 10, 1999
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