SAN LUIS OBISPO – With more than two dozen alumni on hand for the ceremony, the Cal Poly softball program dedicated its Mustang Softball Alumni Hitting Facility between games of the team's Saturday, May 5 doubleheader versus Cal State Fullerton.
"We're extremely grateful to the alumni and all of the donors that made the Mustang Softball Alumni Hitting Facility a reality. This beautiful facility will have an immediate impact on our program and current student-athletes, as well as helping recruit future Mustangs," said 14th-year head coach Jenny Condon of the $400,000 project that drew more than 50 individual donors. "We're thrilled that we'll never lose a practice to rain ever again. I'm proud to be a part of a program that has such incredible support from our alumni. I hope they take as much pride in it as we do.
"This is part of their legacy and they continue to be positive role models for all current and future Mustangs."
Ground broke on the Mustang Softball Alumni Hitting Facility in November 2017. Located on the first base side of Bob Janssen Field at Ozzie Smith Plaza, the facility includes two hitting bays, a bullpen with three individual pitching rubbers and a storage shed.
The hitting bays – one of which is named in honor of former Mustang infielder Shirley Tuttle (1986-87), who passed away in 2017 – features a retractable netting system which allows coaches and players to reconfigure the area to specific needs.
"I want to thank all of the alumni for their vision and support of this project. We have a saying with the Mustang Way that says 'When Mustangs Support Mustangs, The Cal Poly Community is Strengthened'," Cal Poly Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman said. This was never more evident than in the support we received from alumni, parents and friends of the softball program. We will continue to strive to help our student-athletes compete for championships and this first-rate facility will allow us to do it all year round."
The facility roof measures 98 feet long, 42 feet wide and 20 feet high. The hitting area surface consists of synthetic turf.
"I could not be happier or prouder with how the hitting facility turned out. It's a great addition to Bob Janssen Field and will help enhance the experience of the current and upcoming players," said Kelly McInerney, a 1989 All-California Collegiate Athletic Association selection as a catcher for Cal Poly. "I'm also happy so many alumni were able to come out to attend the dedication. It was very special, especially since we were able to memorialize one of our beloved alumni – Shirley Tuttle.
"This facility was accomplished through a great community effort led by the softball alumni family and the engagement of our softball parents and friends of the program. It truly demonstrated what amazing work can be done when the alumni come together and Mustangs support Mustangs."
Multiple facets of the facility are named for current and former Mustang softball players. Aside from one hitting bay dedicated to Tuttle, the other was funded with the assistance of former infielder and 1985 All-CCAA selection Angie (Zoll) Simon. Two of the support pillars are named for Cal Poly's 1975 team (the program's first year of existence) and senior center fielder Amanda Sandoval (2015-18), who ranks second in the program's Division I history with 39 sacrifices. The bullpen bench was supported with assistance from the Tornio family. Ashley Tornio (2014-17) was a three-year starting second baseman.
"I'm so proud to be a part of this project that brought together four decades of successful women alumnae," said Cal Poly Varsity Club president Kelley (Bannon) Lashley, a four-year starting third baseman for the Mustangs (1992-95). "The softball alums rallied to raise the funds necessary to build this beautiful hitting facility in less than two years.
"Our program desperately needed this upgrade and our alumnae stepped up to get it done. Over 80 percent of the donors to this project were softball alumnae. I'm incredibly proud to be a part of this dedicated group."
The Cal Poly Athletics Department would like to thank the following patrons for their support and gracious contributions in helping fund the Mustang Softball Alumni Hitting Facility:
GRAND SLAM LEVEL (lead gift): Kathryne Beynon Foundation
HOME RUN LEVEL: Thomas Best, Ellen Frank, Kelly McInerney, the Pluschkell Family, the Sandoval Family, Angie Simon, the Tornio Family.
TRIPLE LEVEL: Lynnette Borgman, the Colburn Family, the Convissar Family, Michelle Daddona, Rhonda Gavert, Stacy Korsgaden and Jodi Ramirez, Kelley Bannon Lashley, Lisa Modglin, the Modglin Family, Christina Punches Resmondo, the Tyler Family, the Wilbur Family, Pamela Yamashita.
DOUBLE LEVEL: Kimberly Bernstein, Lisa Boyer, Melissa Rae Branch, Joni Colburn, Kecia Gorman-Davis, Rachelle Graham, Jill Hancock, Hartmann Family, Lisa Johnson, Lori Newdoll Kalin, Cheryl Lutes, Carol McDonald, Helen Peña, Kathleen Pollock, Melissa Pura, Jessica Rogers, Carrie Schafer, Eileen Scheibe, Linda Shinshiro, the Sobczak Family, Robyn Tanner.
SINGLE LEVEL: Kaitlyn Ditlove, Diana Flauding, Lisa Houk, Christie Jokinen, Kathy Jones, Patricia McPhee, Faith Mimnaugh, Alison Murray, Diane Tempus, Tracy Thomas, Lorene Yoshihara, 1975 Inaugural Softball Team, Lock-N-Load Softball (in honor of Shirley Tuttle).