‘We feel like champions’Published 9:15pm Monday, February 3, 2014
Troy head softball coach Melanie Davis has seen every major moment in program history.
In fact, she has seen every moment.
Davis, the only head coach in program history, remembers the old Lady Trojan Softball Field, located next to Sartain Hall. She also remembers the move to the new location on Elm Street.
But she never thought the complex would look as “top notch” as it does now.
“I just really can’t describe it,” said Davis. “It is surreal and almost unreal. Walt Disney said ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ I think he may have got that from Jack Hawkins (Troy chancellor) or Dr. Hawkins go that from him, because he has made a lot of great things happen. We are thrilled that this has taken place. We feel like champions every day here.”
The complex underwent a major renovation, as the outfield was replaced with artificial grass, while the field itself and the dugouts were lowered to improve on the sight lines for fans.
The upgrades also added an 8000-square foot training facility that includes a locker room, player lounge, batting cages, hitting area, pitching area and training room. The press box was also updated to included offices, a media area with press box and an expanded concessions area, as well as new officials locker rooms.
Ground was broken in September, and while every aspect of the new facility is not 100 percent finished, the team will play host to the Troy Subway Invitational tournament this weekend.
But prior to the tournament, the Trojans will host in-state rival Auburn on Thursday night in the first game in the renovated complex, something senior infielder, and Troy native, Taylor Smartt is excited for.
“I think its great to play them,” Smartt said. “We get to start it off with a bang, and get a lot of people out here to support the team from the beginning. We are going to do our best to be prepared, but we know that the season is a marathon and not a sprint.”
While concentrated on the future of the program, and the season at hand, Davis can’t help but think about the humble beginnings of the softball program some 21 years ago.
“We are very thankful to the people who played in less nice circumstances over the years,” said Davis. “They paid the dues, and helped create the history of the program. Without them, we probably wouldn’t have this beautiful place today.”
Troy opens the 2014 softball season at home against Auburn on Thursday.
First pitch is set for 3 p.m.