UM seeks new additions for softball field

UM seeks new additions for softball field.

MISSOULA, Mont. - The University of Montana softball team just wrapped up its best season in program history with 35 total wins. Now, the team is primed for some new additions to its field.

At the most recent Montana Board of Regents meeting, the university submitted a request to complete the second phase of construction at the Grizzly Softball Field. That phase would include upgrades such as the installation of permanent seating, a press box, concession stand, and restroom facilities.

"Our temporary bleachers have really only been able to hold about 100 each and really not very comfortably," said UM athletic director Kent Haslam. "The fan size has increased to the point where we do need permanent bleachers. Then the restroom facilities are so critical. You come out here for a double-header and all we've got to offer are porta-potties and it just makes for a more comfortable experience."

The funding for this project is estimated at $625,000 and all of that money has already been raised through private funding.

The deal will not be complete until the governor signs off on it. School officials say the goal right now is to get that done this summer.

For the first time in its three-year history, the Grizzly softball team won the Big Sky Tournament, which gave the school a birth in the NCAA Tournament.

"This third year was such an exciting year," said Haslam. "We have a great coach in Jamie Pinkerton. He's recruited great young ladies that represent us so well. No pun intended, it's been a big hit, and we felt like it would be big hit and (we're) excited to now add something that will reward our fans and those folks who want to come and watch these young ladies compete."

Montana's softball team has averaged more than 450 fans per home game over the past two seasons, with select games even topping 600 spectators.