By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
The facelift of Cumberland University’s athletic facilities will continue over the summer and into the fall as softball is working toward building a new clubhouse. Fresh off a 31-27 record, the first winning season for the program since the 2001 campaign, Coach Heather Stanfill is, “super excited” about the prospect of having a locker room / office complex in place in time for the 2012 softball season.
“The digging has begun to move the electrical, and I expect they will be digging the footers sometime next week,” Stanfill said.
The plan calls for a 20 X 50 building to be developed out from Cumberland’s third base (home) dugout toward the left field four pole. Construction should be complete by mid-to late fall.
“We’re looking at lockers for 22 to 24 players, a lounge area and two offices for coaches,” Stanfill said, “basically a smaller version of Coach Hunt’s (baseball) club house.”
According to Cumberland athletic director Ron Pavan, over $500,000 has been spent on upgrading on-campus athletic facilities during the past three years.
“We’ve got more work to do,” Pavan said, “including a new roof for the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center and upgrades on the Tommy Gray Memorial Tennis Courts.”
Pavan also went on to say installation of an irrigation system was now complete on the CU soccer field, located at the intersection of South Greenwood and Leeville Pike.
Lindsey Donnell Stadium, home of Cumberland football, will have new home bleachers and a state-fo-the-art pressbox in time for the 2011 fall season.
Coach Stanfill said her players have been actively involved fundraising since she arrived on campus a little over three years ago and have amassed most of the money needed for the project.
“We’ll still be fundraising for the forseeable future, but we’re about $6,000 short of where we need to be in order to have the entire project paid for,” Stanfill said. “We’re very appreciative of the support from (CU President) Dr. Eaton, Mr. Pavan, our team parents and folks in the community We’ve been given some very important in-kind donations that will go a long way toward helping us complete the project.”
As for the future, Stanfill said she would like to see an indoor workout facility as well as the demolition of the existing pressbox with grandstand seating added behind home plate.
“We’re still working at the Nashville Superspeedway as ushers, helping with Central Parking in Nashville and with the CMA Music Festival later this month,” Stanfill said.
Caity Gray honored -- CU softball player Caity Gray was recognized last month as an NAIA Daktronics National Scholar-Athlete. Gray, a junior majoring in Management, has a 3.69 GPA.
The Corona, Calif., native played in 48 games with 47 starts, including 41 at first base this season. She batted .260 with 26 hits and 20 RBIs, posting seven multi-hit and five multi-RBI games. In the circle Gray tallied a 4-3 record with a team-best three saves, striking out 30 batters in 52 2/3 innings.