UTA’s baseball and softball teams won’t have to cancel practice because of bad field conditions anymore.
Each team is currently having an indoor hitting facility constructed near their respective fields — Clay Gould Ballpark for baseball and Allan Saxe Field for softball.
The facilities will allow players to practice outside of the elements, whether it is heat, rain, cold or snow. The facilities will hold multiple batting cages and will give the players room to throw, pitch and work on defensive drills in poor weather.
Head softball coach Kristie Fox said the new softball building will be great for player development.
“It will make us more time efficient,” Fox said. “It’s gonna be multi-purpose. It is all about player development.”
Fox said the facility is great for multitasking because players can work on hitting inside while the rest of the team practices defensive drills outside.
The batting nets are able to be flipped up, so players can practice taking ground balls and work on speed drills.
The NCAA limits coach and player interaction, especially during the off-season. Players will now be able to walk in and use the machines to practice by themselves, and the extra work could help the team.
“It’s gonna be awesome,” sophomore pitcher Teri Lyles said. “It will give girls more motivation because it’s so new. People like to use new things.”
The facilities also level the playing field for UTA. Many other Division I schools have had access to indoor practice for years, and this is a big step for the Mavericks.
Baseball head coach Darin Thomas said the new facilities could prove valuable for incoming recruits.
“It gives us something we’ve never had before at UTA,” Thomas said. “It’s a place where players can go to get out of the heat [and] rain or to just go and practice by themselves.”
Junior catcher Rachel Forshaw said her experiences at other schools have her excited about the new changes.
“I’ve seen other teams with these facilities, and it’s great that we have our own now,” Forshaw said.