For the past few years, intramural softball at the University of Dallas has been played on the varsity softball field. That’s caused some problems for the softball team in the past, but this year, the two parties are confident that they will be able to come together and use the facility well.
According to softball head coach Beth Krysiak, there have been problems during the intramural season with people leaving trash in the dugouts and cigarette butts on the premises, and even damaging some of the equipment.
“When I walk a recruit down to see our fields, there might be cigarette butts in the dugouts or something along those lines that you don’t want to see at an NCAA varsity facility,” Krysiak said.
Last year, there was a problem with people involved with intramurals sitting on top of the pads along the backstop. It caused damage to the pads that the softball team had to use their funding to repair.
“Luckily we just had to pay for repairs, so it was just a couple hundred dollars, but it’s still a couple hundred dollars that we didn’t get to spend on things we would need,” Krysiak said.
“Throughout the season we tried to keep people off and let people know, but it did end up breaking apparently,” recreational sports intern Dominic King said.
King was the commissioner of intramural softball a year ago, so he was at every game. This year, he has taken over as the rec sports intern for Diego Healy, who has held that title for the last two years.
King is working with Krysiak as well as his commissioner, Elisa Knapp, and three student umpires to get ahead of the problems.
“I just do things a little differently from Diego, so I think that’s something we’ll be able to take care of on the front end,” King said.
Krysiak has been frustrated by what she sees as a lack of respect in the past, to the point where she’s considered not letting intramural sports use the field.
“There was one year that there was quite a bit of damage done,” Krysiak said. “There was trash left out almost every game night, and they were definitely not respecting our field at all and they weren’t following the rules that I asked them to follow, so after that season, there was some serious discussion of, ‘if you guys can’t follow these rules then we’re going to shut down season.’”
While both sides admit there have been problems between the Recreational Programming department and the softball team, they both think the relationship is much better this year.
“I think they’ve been really good to work with this year,” Krysiak said. “The past couple years I think were a much bigger struggle. This year, I think they’ve done a really good job of being proactive and making sure the dates work with the maintenance that we have going on on the field.”
“We had a meeting with her last weekend, and it was very easy and very professional and very respectful of what she needed, because I understood that she does help us a lot by letting us use it,” King said. “I’m looking forward to working with her and I think it’ll be a good relationship.”
King says that Krysiak has been very helpful to them. Not only does she allow them to use the field, but she also has her student workers put turf mats on the pitcher’s mound and batter’s box, turn the lights on, and then drag the field and turn the lights off at the end of every night.
The field is open for use, as the softball team wrapped up their fall practice season on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The intramural softball season will begin Oct. 30 and is scheduled to run through Nov. 18.
For now, King believes that all of the games will be able to be played on the softball field. In the past, due to weather and other complications, they’ve been forced to play on the rugby pitch as well as the empty field next to the lacrosse field.
“I’m working in a whole week of rainy days, cancellations, so a lot of days so we know we can use that field,” King said. “Always at the end of every intramural season, there’s something that happens that throws everything for a loop.”
King said he’s working in an extra week of the season for possible cancellations and make-up games.
There seems to be much more awareness and willingness to work together and maintain the field this year.
“As long as the students respect our facility, I have no problem with them using it,” Krysiak said. “It’s just a respect factor for me.”
“Softball’s always so much fun, and people are having such a good time,” King said. “I’m looking forward to making it work and making it a good season.”