Feb. 15, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Home plate will remain where it has rested at Buckeye Field since 1988, but not much else will remain the same for the Ohio State softball complex when a $5.1 million stadium renovation project gets underway in June. Approved by the Ohio State Board of Trustees earlier this month, construction will be completed by March 2008 and will give the Buckeyes a 1,500 seat facility that will be one of the finest in the country.
In addition to more than doubling Buckeye Field’s current capacity of 800, the new stadium will include indoor and outdoor batting cages, a three-plate bullpen, a 650-square foot press box, player clubhouse and lounge, new dugouts, coaches and umpires dressing rooms and concession areas.
Under the direction of head coach Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State owns a .640 winning percentage this decade, the third-best mark in the Big Ten during that time, and has made three trips to the NCAA tournament.
“The new softball stadium will mean so much to our current players as well as be a focal point in recruiting new outstanding young women to our university,” Kalafatis said. “Our new stadium will now be comparable to the other facilities we have at Ohio State, which is well known for having some of the finest facilities in all of college sports. With the addition of the indoor batting cages, our players will now have unlimited access in their training which will only lead to more success. This couldn’t happen without our generous donors and the tremendous support of our administration. This commitment will make an enormous contribution to the success of our program and it is certainly bettering the lives of our softball student-athletes. This is another example of the spirit that makes Ohio State great.”
Already with one of the finest playing surfaces in the Big Ten and with lights that were installed in 2003, the renovated stadium will give Ohio State softball a complete facility that will serve the Buckeyes for years to come.
“We are extremely appreciative of the donors who helped this become a reality,” Gene Smith, Ohio State athletics director, said. “The improvements will allow Linda to better serve our student-athletes, and will provide a better experience for our fans. We are excited about this project.”
Ohio State is scheduled to host its 2007 home-opener March 17 with the Buckeye Invitational. The final regular-season game of the spring is scheduled for May 6 against Penn State, after which the Big Ten tournament and NCAA regionals could be hosted at Buckeye Field before construction begins.
### GO BUCKS! ###