This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade
Warm summer days, coolers full of lemonade and stands full of family and friends. Baseball and softball are a time-honored American tradition that brings people together. This is especially prominent in Carbon County, and now USU Eastern is completing the tradition. Baseball is already a part of USUE’s sports, and by fall 2016, women’s softball will become part of Eastern’s family.
After the success of USUE’s new soccer programs, USUE staff and faculty were eager to find a new sport to bring to Eastern’s booming campus. Greg Dart, vice chancellor of enrollment management, said, “We’re in a unique situation where we’re able to add this sport because of our conference affiliations. It makes significant sense for us to add women’s softball.”
The Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) sports include basketball, volleyball, soccer and baseball. The sports USUE doesn’t have that are included in SWAC are wrestling, football and softball. Dart said, “By adding softball, we are helping out the other schools in the conference as well as giving ourselves more opportunity to participate in SWAC.”
Softball is not a new sport for Carbon County and, in fact, used to be one of the sports on the roster before Eastern became known as USU Eastern. While the program still has a ways to go before it will be ready, there is already a base set-up for the sport. The field the softball team will be using is located below Carbon High’s football field. USU Eastern will be partnering with the city to make improvements on the field and get it ready for softball in 2016.“Adding men’s and women’s soccer has been widely successful. It brought in 73 students, it brought in a renewed energy. The way it was done was there was one time money put towards the sport the first year, much like we are going to be doing with softball. Much of what we are doing will follow the same time line that soccer had,” Dart said.
Much like soccer, 2015 will be the kick-start year for women’s softball. Using one-time money, USUE will hire a couch, recruit and get the equipment and field ready for 2016. Dart said, “Carbon County is already a big baseball and softball area. Our hope is that we can do a little of recruiting in the area as well as out in the state. Softball will be a great thing for our community.”