Bulldogs Set To Play First Game At Renovated Facility This Week
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There will be a new look to DeWitt Family Field when the Bulldogs play their home opener this week. And it's one that will be a tremendous benefit to the program. The dirt and grass have been replaced by state-of-the-art field turf.
"The upgrades to DeWitt Family Field will give us an edge in so many ways," said Yale head coach Jen Goodwin. "Weather is one of our biggest challenges here in the Northeast in the spring, and the turf changes that quite a bit. The number of cancellations we have had over the past few years has been unreal. The frost, the rain, the field prep… the turf will allow us to get on the field in February on those mild days we tend to have. When it comes to a rainy April, the drainage will assure us that no matter how much it rains overnight, we will be able to get onto our field the next day."
In addition to the field surface, there also were upgrades to the bullpens, batting cages, outfield fences and dugouts.
The renovations were made possible by Karen Yarasavage '87 and Kevin Genda '87. Yarasavage, a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs, was a four-time All-Ivy selection, including earning first team honors three times in her outstanding career.
"The commitment Yale and our alumnae have shown to the softball program will be inspiring to our recruits," Goodwin said. "To have the opportunity to attend a world class institution, to compete at the highest level on the ball field, and to have this on a first-class field. This is what we needed to continue to recruit the top softball student-athletes to our program. We are beyond grateful."
Milone & MacBroom were the civil engineers and landscape architects, DeRosa Sports Construction, Inc. was the site General Contractor, and FieldTurf produced and installed the turf.
Yale's student-athletes are excited about the project.
"For Yale Softball to have a field that we can call our home year round is huge for our program," said team captain Allison Skinner. "Every year we start our season without having touched a regulation softball field until that day. The turf gives us the opportunity to get outside earlier in the year, allows us to play games that weather in the past has gotten in the way of. We had 14 of our 48 games cancelled my freshman year so to know having turf could stop that from happening in the future is exciting for me and for future Yale Softball teams."
The installation of the field turf is one of two exciting additions to the DeWitt Family Field area. Construction is under way on the Carol Roberts Field House, a comprehensive space that meets the training and programmatic needs of softball and field hockey. Built between Johnson Field and DeWitt Family Field, the building will include spacious locker rooms with custom wood lockers, a training room, satellite coach's offices and team meeting space, a second story observation roof deck featuring a glass-walled event space, and public restrooms.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity