Take a Tour of the Nittany Lion Softball Park on Opening Day
By Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Take a second and go grab a pen and some paper, yeah don't worry about me, I want you to write down everything you think a college softball stadium needs or could have.
I'll wait....you got it? Let's see....
- Great video scoreboard
- Locker rooms and offices connected to the field
- Permanent concession stand and bathrooms
- A press box equipped for television and radio broadcasts
- Indoor batting cages
Penn State's sparkling new Nittany Lion Softball Park has all of these things and many more. With great Penn State sporting facilities including Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center within sight over the outfield walls the Nittany Lions softball program now has a facility they can be proud to call their own.
"It's a great stadium, it's beautiful and I feel really honored to play in it," said Penn State junior pitcher Lisa Akamine. "They did a great job building it."
"It's great for Penn State softball," said Head Coach Robin Petrini," It's a venue that's much deserved and I'm glad that were finally in it."
Finally is the right word to describe the end of the wait for the program to get a field like the one they have now. The Lions are thrilled with the opportunity to play in one of the best sports facilities on campus, let alone in the Big Ten and NCAA for softball.
Akamine will forever be put down in program history as not only getting the first win in the park's history in a relief appearance, but also the park's first ever home run, which was even inside the park.
"It was really special," Akamine said, talking after the team's 8-5 win over Wisconsin Saturday in the park's opener.
"It was great we were all so excited to finally get it in and play," said outfielder Cassidy Bell who got Penn State's first hit in the park as well as the scoring the first ever run, also adding how great it is to start off the new field with a big conference win.
"It's a good thing to get a win when you open because then people want to come back and watch some more," said Coach Petrini.
The Nittany Lion fans supplied a great atmosphere for the opening of the brand new facility and many that came out were very impressed with it all. For some it was their first trip for a Penn State softball game and the park was a great first impression.
Tim Brain, a New Jersey native was one fan in the crowd who was at his first Penn State Nittany Lion softball game.
"It's beautiful, very nice," Brain said, "My daughter plays for a Division III college, this is 10 times better, the snack stand, the seating, it's beautiful."
Cory Hambright from McAlisterville, Pa., was another fan using the word beautiful to describe the facility, saying, "it's a beautiful new stadium, you can see the game from anywhere in here," talking about the great set of bleachers that all provide amazing sightlines to the field.
Chase Rupert, from Mifflin, Pa., can be added to the list of fans impressed with the new facility.
"I like it, it's a great park, beautiful field," Rupert said from the stands, who added the field was probably his favorite part of the new facility.
For the Nittany Lion softball program that has waited for all the things a top-notch facility brings, it will now be able call one of the best facilities in the nation its home.