Home field advantage never looked better than it did Wednesday when the Tigers swept a doubleheader against Norfolk State University 6-4 and 8-0 in their first games inside the newly renovated Tiger Softball Stadium.
“I was thrilled to watch our softball team compete in their long-awaited upgraded facility,” said Director of Athletics Tim Leonard. “They have a strong team and a bright future. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the team’s 40 years of history than with this well-deserved space.”
The upgraded stadium features improved ADA and medical emergency access, restrooms, a digital scoreboard, a concession stand and a press box. Upgraded spectator seating can now accommodate up to 500 spectators overlooking a natural turf field with recessed dugouts and a bullpen.
“We’re so excited for our new stadium,” said junior elementary education major and right fielder Courtney Johnson. “The upgrades create a whole new playing experience for our team. The sense of pride that we feel about it is incredible.”
The $3.9 million project began in August to address potential Title IX compliance issues surrounding incompatibilities with the women’s softball and men’s baseball facilities. Prior to the improvements, the outdated softball facility had a raw field with a backstop and temporary bleachers. The facility did not have bathrooms.
The Tiger Softball Stadium remains in its original location south of SECU Arena, bordering lot 20. With the exception of lighting, it is designed to meet NCAA standards. Lighting was removed and other design changes were made to accommodate concerns raised by community members at a series of informational meetings held during the design and construction process. Other changes included shifting the locations of the field and concession stand, reducing the height of the press box, and implementing state-of-the-art acoustics to reduce noise impacts. The height of the backstop was maximized to help prevent foul balls from leaving university property. Additional retractable netting and landscape buffering will be installed along the property line as further foul ball control.
“The [upgraded] facility is competitive with other schools in our conference,” said Head Softball Coach Lisa Costello. “The enhancements help our players better prepare and be ready for the season. It helps us in every aspect of our program, especially recruiting.”
See the newly updated stadium for yourself at the facility’s ribbon-cutting ceremony April 25 at 10:45 a.m. then stay to watch the Tigers take on Drexel University at noon. Admission is free for Towson students, faculty, staff and guests.