By: Garrett Connor
As fall practices for both the baseball and softball teams have begun, there is a new excitement flowing through both programs. After many years of utilizing facilities that were shared around town, they will finally have a place to call home. Starting this spring, both the baseball and softball teams will be playing on brand new fields to call their own.
The creation of Bulldog Park brings a new experience to the McPherson College campus. Bordering Bremyer Dog Park off of South Centennial Street, the new fields will be AstroTurf in the infield and grass in the outfield. This will benefit both programs in many ways. The athletes will now have a state of the art playing surface with the addition of AstroTurf.
Head softball coach Ashley Hickman is very excited about having a field that can withstand the crazy Kansas weather. “I am most excited for the chance to be able to practice more times than we can now,” Coach Hickman said. “With the field being turf we will be able to determine when we can play games rather than having to cancel them.” Bulldog Park will be the first artificial turf softball field in the KCAC and the second in baseball behind Friends University (Lawrence-Dumont Stadium).
The facilities are going to become a new attraction for the community with youth camps, summer tournaments, and hopefully summer collegiate teams. Head coach Bryan Moses sees the new facility as an opportunity to help the budget and play more games in McPherson early in the season. “Right now we are having to travel far on the road to start the year,” Moses explains. “Now I think we can play games in early February. Although (games) will be cold, they should be dry with the turf.”
Both Bryan Moses and Ashley Hickman praised McPherson College Athletic Director, Andrew Ehling, for the hard work that he has put forward on this project. “Andrew has done a very good job with generating revenue and getting this off the ground,” Moses commented.
The first phase of this project is expected to be finished before the baseball team opens up their season at home against Evangel University on February 9th and the softball team’s home opener against Dordt College on February 24th.