Radford baseball and softball open new practice facility

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By Michael Marzzacco

mmarzzacco@radford.edu

It is early February here at Radford University and it is cold. Being in the mountains and getting a lot of snow, it can be rough for the baseball and softball teams to prepare for their respective seasons, only weeks away. Believe it or not, soon the sun will be out, the weather will be warm, and the sound of the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd will take place.

No more do these teams have to worry about not getting enough reps. Now they can get a complete practice in as a new indoor practice facility opened it is doors this semester. The facility is located just beyond the outfield fence of the softball stadium.

“It was pretty exciting to know that we were getting a new facility. Having our own facility and our own times to be able to come in here and work whenever we want is really convenient to our class schedules and practice schedules,” said baseball player Jonathan Gonzalez.

Softball players are also reaping the benefits.

“It’s beautiful compared to what we had before. We can come in here and use the facility whenever we want,” softball player Kayla Bishton said. “It is really great to have something we can call our own. We can do so much now, such as groundball and flyball work. We are able to take as many reps in the cage as we want now.”

This 8,200 square-foot state-of-the-art facility rivals the facilities of several top schools and conferences throughout both the Southeast region and all across college baseball and softball. The dimensions will allow both teams to have six cages open for hitting with all of the necessary equipment and amenities for live pitching, machine pitching, pitchers’ bullpens, and defensive drills.

“Just seeing everyone work hard to get to this point has been amazing. We as players want to come in and work hard every day to put this building to use,” added baseball player Danny Hrbek. “Every player can get their work in at the same time. Pitchers and hitters can practice at the same time. This will be a huge recruiting tool. There is no reason not to choose Radford after stepping foot in this facility.”

One of the biggest benefits of the new facility is that now both programs can be well prepared before the season kicks off. Both teams usually open their season in climates with warmer weather. Baseball opens up their season on Feb. 19 in Macon, Georgia in a three game series against Mercer. Softball will travel to Jacksonville, Florida the same day to participate in the Dolphin Invitational.