As students make their way back for the beginning of the Spring semester, construction crews have been hard at work while the campus was quiet.
Baseball’s Crutcher Scott Field, along with softball’s Poly Wells Field have been receiving a face-lift since November. ACU joined forces with AstroTurf to replace the grass and dirt on both fields before the 2016 spring seasons roll around.
A gift of $500,000 from a Dallas family that is involved with the President’s Venture Council, along with another $400,000 pledge allowed work to begun on the Crutch and soon allowed Wells to follow. Several new features will be added to the baseball field that includes moving the fences around the entire outfield and adding a bullpen behind the right field wall.
Both the pitcher’s mound and home plate area will also be turf but the field will have the traditional baseball field look with a brown turf covering the field where dirt is normally seen.
“From a coaching standpoint, we will now have a field we can use year-round to do more teaching and coaching,” baseball head coach Britt Bonneau said.
The softball team will ring in the New Year with a new turf field as well. The turf will have the look of a natural grass field with the entire infield area brown turf and the outfield made to look like grass. During the off-season, both dugouts at Wells were filled in and leveled to put them at ground level for the first time since the field was built in 1997.
Head softball coach Bobby Reeves already has plans to host several high school and junior college games and tournaments on the new field. Though turf is fairly new in the softball world, ACU is ready to lead the way in this new innovation.
Softball will play its first game on the new surface on Friday March 4, when it hosts the ACU tournament that will be the team’s 13th of the season. Baseball will open the 2016 season at home when it hosts Texas-Rio Grande Valley at 4 p.m. on the new surface.