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Raiders softball finally feeling at home
by Damian Tromerhouser
May 15, 2012 | 948 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed softball coach Jon Wunder rakes the infield dirt as Raiders assistant Todd Cohen (in the background) looks on. The two coaches have helped spearhead the effort to make the east Sparks school’s new field a reality.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed softball coach Jon Wunder rakes the infield dirt as Raiders assistant Todd Cohen (in the background) looks on. The two coaches have helped spearhead the effort to make the east Sparks school’s new field a reality.
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Seven months ago, the plan to build a new, permanent home for the Reed softball team began to come to fruition. While the idea of a ball field on campus had long been pondered, the dream of a Lady Raiders diamond had been a mere illusion until this season.

“When we first started talking about building this field, I’ll be the first to admit I was a little reluctant because I’ve been associated with the softball program for seven or eight years and it’s been talked about ever since I’ve been here. The difference this year is we had a couple parents that took the ball and ran with it. They had some connections with some contractors and some other vendors. If it wasn’t for them coordinating this, we wouldn’t be here today.

“The administration at Reed was extremely supportive. The school district had to guide us through. We’d never built a field before so we hit a couple stumbling blocks, but they helped us get through it.”

Wunder was not the only one who had some second guesses going into the construction of the field.

“It was kind of surreal,” senior second baseman Cori Gammon said. “It didn’t seem real. It was cool to see actual progress on it, not just talk. We actually saw it getting done.”

While Wunder and his team were hesitant to begin with, once the plan that had been tossed around for so many years finally came to fruition, the result was beyond satisfactory for the Blue and Gold, especially for the seniors on the squad.

“It was pretty exciting,” senior catcher Makaela Moore said. “You didn’t really think that it was going to happen because that was something that they talked about every year, but when they actually started working on it, it was pretty cool.”

Playing for the first time on the newly opened field against Fallon, the Raiders were victorious with a 10-0 decision. The diamond took some getting used to though.

“I wasn’t quite sure how to play it,” senior left fielder Hannah Martini said. “I just wanted to do really good. That first game I wanted to make sure I did really good that day. It’s like we were setting the tradition here for the first time.”

Although the girls were excited for their brand new home, it also came with some extra responsibilities.

“These girls are excited to call this home, but they have learned that they don’t just leave practice or games anymore,” Wunder said. “They have chores to do. You either get on a broom or get on a rake or the tamper or pick up the bases. They all divide it up and they don’t complain. They’re happy to do it.”

Maintenance of the diamond is just the beginning of the things that Wunder said he wants to do with the field to make Reed feel even more at home and help build the program.

“There’s a few things that we still want to do. We still need to get a better outfield fence. We want to put in a scoreboard and bring in a snack bar. It’s playable now though. If nothing else happens going into next year, we’ll be fine but there are a few more things we want to get done.

“Next year we’re going to charge a gate and we’re going to have a little snack bar, so we’ll generate a little revenue. It’s nice for the girls to be able to call it home. We have some signs and stuff that are going to go on the back of these dugouts. There will be some stuff that goes on the doors going into next season. We want to get a nice plaque up. So there’s a few more things and those things are going to get done. It’s going to get more personable as we go into next season. The main thing was getting it done so our seniors could play on it.”

Regardless of all the trimmings Wunder wants to add, the senior Lady Raiders were more than pleased with the field as it is, as long as they got to experience it for the last three home games of the season.

“I don’t think there is any disappointment we didn’t have it for a whole season,” senior third baseman Andi Lee said. “I feel like being the first ones to play on it, the first senior class to play on it, was like an honor and a privilege. It feels special.”

Gammon, like the rest of the Raiders, echoed her teammate.

“Even if we only got one game on it, or only got to practice on it, we’d still be satisfied.”

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