No softball outfield nets, shattered glass


Alex Jensen

The entire strip of parking starting at the softball field on Renshaw Avenue is a park at your own risk zone because of foul balls.

Hannah Carty, Staff Writer

A shattered windshield is something no Linfield student looks forward to but for some students, this unfortunate event is a reality. 

Del Smith stadium is located behind the six-pack residence halls and in between the Hewlett Packard apartments. The location of the softball field poses a difficult scenario for finding parking that isn’t in the line of fire from a foul ball. The parking spots that line Renshaw Avenue require the skill to parallel park and the guts to put a car in harm’s way. 

Currently, the softball stadium only has protective nets behind the backstop and for the length of the infield on either side of home plate. These nets aren’t doing much protecting, however—and to no fault of the softball athletes. 

The lack of convenient parking on campus, and protected parking is limited. Students are forced to park in harm’s way because the amount of parking spots available does not serve the population of students with cars adequately. Those that can’t find parking near their residence, must park at a distance. 

This danger may change in the coming future. Garry Kilgore, Linfield athletic director, said that the athletics department is currently determining costs for a new softball backstop. This plan will include other athletic-related facilities upgrades as part of an overall strategic plan Kilgore said. 

“As with all of Linfield’s facilities we are constantly trying to upgrade and replace as we can. Many, but not all, of our projects, have been funded through donations.” Said Kilgore. 

Title IX is a federal law that requires the equal and fair treatment of all students regardless of gender. This law applies to all institutions—public and private. However, this equal treatment does not apply to funding for male and female programs. 

The only requirement under the law regarding funding is that equal dollars must be spent proportionally between male and female scholarships. This may be a reason that the softball facilities compared to other athletic facilities on campus, baseball, football, etc., are maintained differently. 

When comparing the baseball field to the softball field, baseball has an artificial turf infield and protective nets that span a greater distance than those on the softball field. Kilgore said that softball doesn’t have a turf field because “until fairly recently a softball team would not be able to host a championship series on artificial turf.” Since this is no longer the case, softball may see an artificial turf field in the future. 

Students are hoping that more will be done to the softball field in order for cars to be protected. Shannon Apgar, a junior microbiology major, had her car windshield smashed in the fall semester. She said it cost her close to $500, an amount that’s hard for anyone to come up with right on the spot let alone a college student. 

“I don’t blame the softball girls for the broken windshield because obviously, they didn’t do it on purpose, but I feel like I have no other option than to park in a risky area.” Said Apgar. Apgar also said that the school should provide more nets around the softball field because parking is already so limited on campus, students have to park in an area they may face damages for later.