Softball facility to undergo major upgrades and enhancements


Photo by Nektaria Anagnostou

The Hutton Softball Field opened in 2008 and has been home to the Regals softball team ever since.

Eleanor Chan, Reporter

The softball field is getting major upgrades that will see it become a facility equal to that of the baseball team’s. From a full sized football stadium to an Olympic sized pool, California Lutheran University is home to extensive athletic facilities, and the upgrades to the softball team’s facility will add to this. 

“For many years, the university has wanted to ensure that the baseball and softball stadiums provide the same experience for our student-athletes and spectators, and has hoped that a donor would emerge and fund various stadium upgrades. As no donor has emerged over many years, the university has decided to fund improvements out of reserves,” said Ryan Van Ommeren, associate vice president of Planning & Services.

Softball Head Coach Debra Day said the upgrades are going to take place within the next year, which include a stadium similar to baseball’s 308-seat Ullman Stadium. 

“At the end of this academic year, they are going to be putting in permanent dugouts which will include a team room and some bathrooms at our field. And then further down the line, they will be building a stadium, so it will be more…like what baseball has,” Day said. “The field I believe was built in 2008. It’s been a long time coming but it’s hard to raise funds for such big projects.”

Senior infield player Madison Gunn said she feels the sport as a whole deserves more recognition, and believes such upgrades are needed, as well as will make more people pay attention to softball. 

“I think it’s great that we’re finally getting something extra, it often feels like no one is looking out for us,” Gunn said. 

Van Ommeren also said the overriding goal is not just to give the softball players greater exposure by having more people in attendance, but also to ensure a high-quality experience for the university’s student-athletes and spectators.

On top of the added exposure, Day said these upgrades have the potential to attract new recruits and excite everyone involved. 

“Great facilities definitely attract new recruits. Having facilities comparable to our other venues is exciting for our team members and staff,” Day said. 

Gunn said there are issues when it to the sport and the accessibility to equipment and gear. However, she said she recognizes that once the upgrades are complete, it will build a greater sense of togetherness. 

“We always tend to have issues here and there, not having enough in our budget to get new gear. We even had to use the baseball players’ old gear,” Gunn said. “I think that once we have these upgrades, it’s going to add a sense of camaraderie and a homeliness to our field. It’ll definitely feel like a homefield for us.” 

Although the upgrades will be taking place after Gunn graduates, she said she’s glad to be leaving behind a program that looks after its players.