By Clancie Moffet in Sports
After two years of fundraising, the Penguin’s softball and baseball teams will get their own batting cages.
The two teams have raised $30,000 together, according to Director of Athletics Charles Guthrie.
Marla Derrick, the athletic program assistant, said the batting cages and pitching machines have already been purchased and are awaiting final approval on their placement.
Although the cages are designed for the baseball and softball teams, students from P.E. and H.P.E. classes can use them, said Guthrie. Even non-athlete students can use them if they get permission from the coaches and have proper protection.
Derrick said the cages are a great idea because the ASCC won’t have to rent a batting facility for the teams anymore.
The cages will provide a place for athletes to practice efficiently in a safe environment, said Freeman.
Freeman said the school has not let them set up the cages yet because the state has “many hoops and hurdles to go through.” He said he feels like batting cages for a community college are not high on the state priority list.
Freeman said it is disappointing to have athletes and their families working on a project only to have it delayed so long most of them don’t get to enjoy it once it’s finished. It’s similar to the University of Washington’s new baseball stadium delay of over 12 years, he said.
“New recruits all ask, ‘Where are the batting cages?’” said Freeman. “We lose people due to facilities, and that will improve when they are installed.”
“If you’re going to have baseball and softball teams, you have to have hitting cages,” said Guthrie.
According to Guthrie, once the “hoops and hurdles” are dealt with, the baseball team’s cages will be along the third base line and the softball team’s cages will be by the visiting team dugout behind the first base line.
The cages have not yet been assembled due to a higher estimate for concrete than had been planned, said Guthrie. They are still waiting on one more piece of funding.
“My goal is to have the cages up before the season ends this year,” said Guthrie.