By Olivia Libowitz
Elm Staff Writer
I enjoy one sport and that sport is baseball. I understand the appeal and the charm of the sport, and if I had to watch a game it would be baseball. But I also played softball for six months and am fairly certain the two games are fundamentally the same, despite some differences in rules. So why are our softball and baseball teams not treated the same?
Our college has a varsity softball team and a varsity baseball team. Both teams play the same season; both have their own fields on campus. The baseball team’s diamond is over by Kirby Stadium and the Western Shore dorms. The softball team’s field is out past Kirby Stadium, closer to the Kent Crossing apartments, and off the main campus. Both teams are loved by the school and their players, but there has been concern as of late that the baseball team may be getting slightly better care as far as facilities go.
In the last six respective games of the season, as of press time, the baseball team is currently 1-5, whereas the softball team is 3-3. The turnout has been significantly less for softball games than for baseball, with home attendance for softball games being 36.7 percent, and the baseball home attendance hitting 91.3 percent, according to the WC Athletics website. Overall, baseball has a higher national attendance rate than softball, although on a collegiate level they’re closer. This plays a major role in game attendance at WC, not to mention the location of the softball field and the resources available at that location.
A large portion of the school might not even know where the softball field is. Truly, as one of the students who doesn’t follow sports on campus, I know where the baseball team plays, and I know when they play. I know this because the field is very central on campus and because of that, the games are visible and noticeable.
The softball field is out of the way, so the games aren’t as obvious if you’re not following the team’s schedule on the Athletic Department’s website or in The Elm. The softball field holds fewer seats as well, which might make it less enticing.
I understand the school only has so much space, and not every field can be directly on campus. A shared field makes no sense due to the individual specifications of fields for baseball and softball, and the fact that they could not use the fields during an overlapping season.
It makes sense for the softball team to have their own space, and even one that is slightly off campus can be explained by the lack of space in central campus. That doesn’t necessarily excuse the discrepancies in care given to the softball field.
One of the varsity players, Allie Saul, sophomore, expressed some concern over the caretaking of the softball field.
“The dirt on our field is very hard and hardly ever gets water, even though we have the means to do so,” she said. “We have no bathroom, just a port-a-potty near the parking lot.”
She went on to say that she doesn’t feel that “[the baseball team] have more resources,” and thinks they are taken as seriously as the other sport, but still feels that “their field is usually taken care of for both games and practices,” whereas the softball field is “barely done in time for games.”
Much of this comes down to money, but seeing as the softball team has equally, if not more impressive stats at the moment, the fact that they don’t get the same attention and care as the baseball fields seems like an issue that should get some light shed on it. Both teams are a big part of our school’s sports community and should be equally supported. As Saul went on to say, “it would be nice to see more students come and cheer us on.”