Jan. 8, 2012
EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - For those days when the weather is not cooperating, SIUE softball now has an option for practice.
SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said the new indoor facility will change the way the Cougars prepare for the 2012 season and beyond.
The building is 110 foot by 110 foot with a full infield and bases. There are three pitching areas and two 80-foot cages that can be divided to accommodate up to four hitters at a time. An area also was set aside where umpires can prepare for and rest between games.
Montgomery said the facility makes practices moving forward more manageable.
"We're used to structuring our practices around the mezzanines and the batting cages in the Vadalabene Center. We've also gone to indoor soccer facilities," Montgomery said. The Cougars often travelled off campus to prepare for their season since it begins in early February when there can be frigid temperatures and less than optimal weather conditions at Cougar Field.
Having the space enables the team to practice game situations such as bunt coverage and defensive strategies.
"We're very excited we will be able to conduct our practices in one space and in one time frame. It will enable us to get more done than we've ever been able to in preparation for our season," said Montgomery. "It's going to put us light years ahead in practice compared to where we have been."
Montgomery said a gift from Cheri Fulginiti helped propel the groundbreaking for the new facility. She also lauded the leadership of Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher and Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt for helping make the facility a reality.
SIUE christened the new facility Sunday with softball supporters and fans who received their first look at the building which is located just west of Cougar Field on SIUE's campus.