King opens softball field with celebration and alumni game

BRISTOL, Tenn. - The King College softball team christened a new on-campus field Saturday with an on-field ribbon cutting ceremony followed by an alumni game.

The new home for the Lady Tornado was built behind the baseball field and beside Parks Soccer Field.  The field now gives King Athletics six on-campus facilities.  King began softball in 2005 and has been planning the addition of this field since that time.  The sport has experienced great strides and growth at King and currently has 22 players.  As a whole, the King athletic department now has 24 intercollegiate sports with the addition of numerous teams and new facilities in the last 10 years.

"This field just shows a commitment to our ever growing athletic department," said Rob Littleton, Vice President for Student Affairs at King.  "This is not only a place to play softball, but a place for the King community to come together at another athletic venue on campus.

The facility took approximately four months to complete from the groundbreaking to the finishing touches to make it game ready. The facility will also feature batting cages for the team to use at practices. The field is a full size field with dugouts, brick backstop along with netting and an eight-foot fence.

"We are extremely excited about the opportunity to be playing and practicing on campus," head coach Jenn Testa said. "I know this facility will not only attract more students and faculty to softball games, but it will be a tremendous recruiting tool for our program.  The administration has done a great job in providing another top of the line facility, and we are extremely thankful to all of those who sacrificed and had a hand in making this dream a reality."

The softball program will enter the seventh season of existence with the 2011 season. The 2010 Lady Tornado squad reached the NCCAA World Series and finished tied for fifth. King posted a record of 22-17, which was the third straight 20-win season.

King was granted full membership as a NCAA Division II institution in early July and the school will be a member of Conference Carolinas starting with the 2011-12 athletic seasons.