BUIES CREEK – Over the last decade, dramatic changes have transformed the Campbell University campus. One of the next projects in line for major renovations is the Eakes Athletic Softball Complex.
The first phase of the Campbell Softball stadium project officially began on Jan. 26, when the concrete walkway behind the team’s backstop was broken up and the ground was leveled. A new concrete pad was poured this week.
“This has been a long awaited and prayed for addition to our facility,” head softball coach Drew Peterson said. “I have hoped to take this next step for many years, and with the help of several very supportive individuals and a few major donors, the grandstand addition is finally under way. We in the softball program are thrilled as this helps legitimize our Division I status with a facility more on par with the elite programs in the country.”
Upgrades during the initial phase will include permanent grandstand seating on the newly built concrete pad behind the backstop between the dugouts, a fully functioning enclosed press box in the center section on top of the grandstand and a bricked exterior façade of the structure. The initial plans call for the first wave of the project to be completed in early April.
The second phase of the projects calls for a new nine-inning wireless running LED scoreboard in right field.
“Of course, the scoreboard is another greatly needed piece of the total plan, and Lord willing, other key friends of our program will help bring a modern era scoreboard to the site,” said Peterson. “I am confident that it will happen soon, and when all phases are completed, we will have an outstanding softball facility.”
Peterson said the renovations should help Campbell attract high schools, state tournaments and summer league tournaments.
“Once completed, the softball community will no doubt desire to hold various events at our elite facility," he said. "And this will, of course, be another significant occasion to bring future Camels to our gorgeous campus.”
For more information on the renovated facility at the Eakes Athletic Softball Complex, contact Peterson at (910) 893-1355.
Softball makes its 2012 debut in mid-February competing at the Fifth Annual Red & Black Showcase hosted by the University of Georgia. The Camels are slated to open the season against St. John’s at 5 p.m. on Feb. 12. In addition to playing against the Red Storm and the host Bulldogs, who reached the NCAA Super Regionals last spring, the Camels take on Army, North Carolina State and Utah State.
The Camels return four starters and 11 letterwinners this year from the 2011 team, including the school’s second leading all-time home run hitter in senior Taylor McGee.
Story and photo courtesy of Joe Prisco, Campbell Athletics