May. 25, 2018
For Biola’s softball team, the home field now feels a lot more like home.
On Monday, the team kicked off their season with the dedication ceremony of a newly renovated Freedom Field — an upgraded facility complete with new dugouts, bullpens, a team room and other improvements.
“This new complex will allow us to help recruit players, host regional tournaments and have more outreach camps for the community,” said Coach Lorie Coleman, who is beginning her fourth season with the Eagles. “Our goal is to use our platform as college athletes and coaches to reach the world for Christ through the sport of softball.”
The completion of the first phase of the three-phase project marks the first major remodel of the facility since it was converted from a junior high school field to a varsity facility when the program began in 1993.
The first phase of the $2 million project includes the creation of two new bullpens, new dugouts, a team room attached to the home dugout, a netted backstop, an equipment storage room and new concrete for the spectator area. Phase one of the complex is complete with the exception of batting cages, which will require an additional $130,000.
“I am really pleased by the progress we have made in upgrading our softball facility,” said Vaughan, who oversees the athletic department. “Over the last decade Biola has invested significantly in its athletic facilities, but until recently the softball field remained untouched. We have additional improvements to make in future phases of the project, but this is a wonderful first step in improving and beautifying the facility. I greatly appreciate the work of Brian Phillips, senior director of facilities management, who along with his team worked tirelessly and creatively on the project.”
Monday’s ceremony featured a brief addresses from Biola President Barry Corey, Vice President of Enrollment Management Greg Vaughan, Director of Athletics Dave Holmquist and Head Softball Coach Lorie Coleman.
Royer Landscape Construction was the general contractor on the project. PCH Architects did the design of the facility. Future phases of the project will add a covered batting facility, covered bullpens, enlarged bleacher system with press box, field lighting, concession space and public restroom facilities.
After the ceremony, the Eagles had been scheduled to play against La Sierra University in their 2013 season opener, but the game was postponed.
The Eagles have reached the postseason six of the last seven seasons, winning the Golden State Athletic Conference title in 2001 and advancing to the NAIA Softball National Tournament in 2002.
Biola is still looking for alumni and friends to support the second and final phase of the building project. For more information on joining the project, contact Coach Coleman at (562) 944-0351, ext. 5935.
Written by Jeff Hoffman, Sports Information Director. For more information, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist, at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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