College softball: 7 stadiums you need to visit
The road to Oklahoma City is well in progress, and we’re in the midst of an exciting regular season.
There are several outstanding college softball venues across the country, but these seven stand out. If you’re looking to make a trip to a stadium in the near future, these deserve a look:
Tiger Park (LSU)
Tiger Park opened in 2009 and is state-of-the-art in every sense of the phrase.
LSU’s home stadium has 1,289 chair back and bench back seats, a suite, and best of all – a party deck on the third base line.
When you can walk into Tiger Park, the tradition hits you. LSU made it to the Women’s College World Series in 2001, 2004, 2012, 2015 and 2016, and there is plenty of hardware dispersed throughout the stadium.
Tiger Park isn’t just fan-friendly – it’s player and umpire-friendly, too. The clubhouse is two stories, featuring indoor batting cages, a training facility and an umpire locker room. Check out a 360-degree panoramic view of all of Tiger Park’s offerings here.
Lamson Park (Louisiana-Lafayette)
A nice touch at Lamson Park: in 2006, the left and right field foul lines were adorned by brick wall.
The Ragin’ Cajuns’ stadium has come a long way. Thirty years ago, the land on which Lamson Park was built was a pasture filled with barns and cattle. Now, it’s one of the most iconic venues in college softball, holding almost 3,000 people. Lamson Park has a 50-seat stadium club and underwent a $2.1 million renovation between 2009-11. It's a great place to take in a game.
Melissa Cook Stadium (Notre Dame)
It’s not as warm in South Bend as it is in some other prominent college softball towns, but Melissa Cook Stadium features heated dugouts to account for the cold as much as possible. That’s just one of many attributes that makes Notre Dame’s stadium one of the best in the nation.
Cook Stadium’s Bluegrass playing surface with Hilltopper Stabilizer synthetic infield dirt is as sharp of a combination as there is in college softball. Notre Dame has won four conference championships since the venue opened in 2008.
Alberta B. Farrington Stadium (Arizona State)
The picture just about says it all, right?
Farrington Stadium opened in 2000 and is one of the most aesthetically pleasing places to watch a game – the park has received two major awards for design and architecture. Farrington holds about 1,500 people with individual seats and chair-back bleachers. Its signature feature: sunken dugouts that are lighted for night games. Like the rest of the stadium, they’re just gorgeous.
Rhoads Stadium (Alabama)
Come one, come all – Rhoads Stadium holds nearly 4,000 people, creating one of the most intense atmospheres you’ll see in college softball. It holds two records: most fans to attend a double-header (6,259 against Auburn on March 16, 2011) and most fans to attend an individual game (3,256 – game two of that twin bill).
The outfield fence is a work of art – a mashup of Alabama’s crimson and cream color scheme that pays tribute to prominent figures in Tide softball history. Taking in a game at Rhoads Stadium is an experience unlike any other.
Jane Sanders Stadium (Oregon)
It’s the University of Oregon – so you know it’s going to be sleek. Jane Sanders Stadium is just that, featuring the Ducks’ vibrant color scheme all over the park with some creative architecture (yellow pillars connecting the concourse to the overhang is a nice touch).
Opening just over a year ago, Jane Sanders Stadium is as modern as it gets in college softball – it’s got all of the bells and whistles, including a team meeting room, locker room, film room, and training room for the players. Check this place out if you can.
Kamphuis Field (Liberty)
Just over two years old, Kamphuis Field looks like a classic – the red, white and blue color scheme is complemented by brick along the dugouts and a clean, simple overhang. Its AstroTurf outfield has a far more modern look than what we’re used to seeing.
This stadium is as player-friendly as it gets, too, boasting visitor and umpires' locker rooms, a team room, a situation room (!), coaches' offices, indoor batting tunnels, two full bullpens and an expansive athletic training room. Great stuff.