Wait finally over for TSU softball program

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 8, 2002

Sports Editor

Recent renovations to the Troy State baseball program’s Riddle-Pace Field included extending the home and visitor dugouts by 25 feet for restrooms.

But TSU head softball coach Melanie Davis, who’s waited eight years for a permanent home for her Lady Trojans, wants all the homefield advantage she can muster now that the Troy State Softball Complex is complete.

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"We do have a restroom in our dugout," said Davis during a media tour of the facility on Thursday. "But in the visitors dugout we weren’t that nice. They don’t have one."

TSU Athletic Director Johnny Williams, who was also in attendance, joked:

"Hey, we do have them a garbage can."

No disrespect intended toward Troy State’s future home opponents, of course, but you’ll have to give Davis and her softball team their time to do a little gloating. A temporary softball field by Trojan Arena was ripped up to make way for a parking lot and games at the City of Troy’s Sportsplex just didn’t have that "home" feeling.

And Davis is determined to make the new complex as inviting as she can make it.

"At the old field (on campus), parents would bring stuff to eat and grill while the game was going on," she said. "We’ve actually got some barbecue grills ordered just for that."

The Lady Trojans open their season on Saturday at home against UAB in a doubleheader. First game is at 1 p.m.

Troy State was voted to finish second in the Atlantic Sun. The Lady Trojans have appeared in the conference tournament title game two out of the last three years, yet have not been able to finish the job, losing out to Florida Atlantic last season.

However those games were on other team’s fields.

This year’s tournament, and the next in 2003, will be on the Lady Trojans’ turf.

"Coach Williams was very instrumental in putting together a bid package to host these events," said Davis. "It was something we wanted to get, but we really didn’t have the facility to do it with. We did host the tournament in 1999 in Dothan. Of course that worked out well for the City of Dothan and for us, but most conference teams prefer to play the tournament on campus."

Davis also prefers to play on campus.

"It’s just better for your Division I athletes and a better overall atmosphere," she said.