Willamette Plans to Build Softball Training Facility for Bearcats

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110
Dave Rigsby

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University is underway with a campaign to raise funds for an indoor softball training facility. Long-time Bearcat softball supporters the Wallace family have generously provided a leadership gift of just under $25,000 for the project.

"Our new indoor training facility will allow our Bearcat softball players to practice hitting and pitching in all seasons,” Athletic Director Dave Rigsby said. “The project is a worthy recognition of the hundreds of dedicated student-athletes who have proudly represented Willamette and Bearcat softball."“The new hitting facility will have such a huge impact on our program,” Head Coach Damian Williams said. “Our players will be able to train year-round in a first class hitting facility.

The goal for the fundraising campaign is $75,000. Funds from the campaign will be used to construct the 1700 square foot indoor training facility, and for other minor updates to the team clubhouse.  

The Athletics Department also has received a number of other important gifts to the project, including leadership contributions from current parents, former parents, alumni, and two members of the Willamette Board of Trustees.

“The continued financial support from the university, our boosters, and our alumni is what helps the softball program succeed,” Williams said. “This hitting facility will show their support and positive impact on our program.”

The Willamette University softball team is widely considered one of the top small college programs in the West. During his 14 years at WU, Williams has led the Bearcats to 10 winning seasons and one .500 record.

In 2012, eight Bearcat softball players received All-Northwest Conference recognition. Teresa Martin (Fr., 3B, Modesto, CA/Johansen HS) and Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) also garnered All-West Region honors. 

Willamette hopes to break ground on the training facility in the fall of 2012.

Individuals who would like to contribute to the fundraising campaign for the softball hitting facility should contact either Head Coach Damian Williams or Athletic Director David Rigsby. Williams can be reached at (503) 370-6656 or williamr@willamette.edu. Rigsby can be reached at (503) 370-6548 or drigsby@willamette.edu.

Willamette University is raising funds for an indoor softball training facility (building with Bearcat logo).

Willamette University is raising funds for an indoor softball training facility (building with Bearcat logo).

Groundbreaking for the softball training facility is set for the fall of 2012.

Groundbreaking for the softball training facility is set for the fall of 2012.

Architectural drawings by Arbuckle Costic Architects, Inc.

Architectural drawings by Arbuckle Costic Architects, Inc.