Softball Gets Safer Seats

Beatriz Haro Leyva and Casey Casas

Wildcatter staffers Beatriz Haro and Casey Casas talked to softball coach Teresa Lentz on Jan. 24 about the $832,711 improvements to the campus softball facilities.
Coach Teresa Lentz:
Q: Do you think the new bleachers are needed?
A: Yes, the new bleachers are definitely needed. I believe they are a little bit bigger. Supposedly they were able to add maybe 100 more people in the stands than they were before. I don’t think it’ll be enough but I think it’s nice for the fans to be able to have a nice place to sit and not worry about falling through or you know, being stuck where they couldn’t go up before because there wasn’t a place to step so it’s a big upgrade, and on top of that it will have some nice shade for wind and for the sun, and I think it’s just going to (take) our program to another level with the facilities that we have.
Q: Do you think the new bleachers will attract more people to the games?
A: I hope so. I think it’ll help. I think sometimes people don’t have anywhere to sit so they just stand around, and so this hopefully encourages more people to come and at least feel comfortable sitting at our field.
Q: Did you like the old bleachers?
A: The old ones were dangerous. They were not safe for people who were older or little kids. Once the seats were packed everyone had to stand at the bottom and if you came late to the game you wouldn’t be able to find a seat because they really got kind of clumped at the bottom, so it wasn’t really helpful or useful.
Q: What improvement did they need?
A: The big thing that these stands have now is a place where people can walk and go upstairs. They have stairs. The others stands didn’t have stairs. They weren’t enclosed like if you dropped something it would fall all the way to the bottom. You could slip and fall and people have or had so this is a huge upgrade to what we had before.
Q: What do you know about the new batting cages?
A: The batting cages are completed. They are finishing up with the inside. The turf is installed, so we have some nice turf in there, and we are waiting for the sitting permits to get approved and then we will be able to use the batting cages hopefully in a week or two.
Q: What are you looking forward to related to the new batting cages?
A: I’m looking forward for the girls to be able to have a place where they can bat and hit, and they can be excited and motivated to have this area where they can hit as much as they want as long as they want and then after training when it’s super hot or it’s super cool, we’re going to be able to just really have no excuses to be where we need to be for season and to be successful.
Q: How would having them help the athletes?
A: I think they’ll have access to be able to hit and that is something that not many softball programs can say, and not just in this area, but in the state of Texas to say that they have indoor hitting facilities, so this is really going to set us apart from many of our competitors.

Players also discussed the new softball improvements:
Softball Varsity Junior Maddie Flores
Q: Why do you think the new bleachers are needed?
A: When going to state last year a bunch of people were not sitting because there was not enough seats.
Q: Do you think the new bleachers will attract more people to the games?
A: Yes it will attract more people because people would like them.
Q: What don’t you like about the old bleachers and what needed improvement?
A: I didn’t like the old bleachers because they were small and family had to come early to get spots. It needed improvement to be safe and enough seats to sit on.

Softball Varsity Junior Avianna Gonzales
Q: Why do you think the new bleachers are needed?
A: Because we have a lot more supporters since we went to state last year
Q: What don’t you like about the old bleachers and what needed improvement?
A: They were too small and everyone would need to stand up to the side, and nobody would be able to fit.