At last, they’ll swing for the fences

Ditch the temporary.
Compared to other programs around the area, Gilroy High’s
new-look softball stadium is practically contemporary.
Ditch the temporary.

Compared to other programs around the area, Gilroy High’s new-look softball stadium is practically contemporary.

Earlier this month – after years of campaigning – the Mustangs finally got the permanent fence they’ve been waiting on. Six feet high and 200 feet in length, fencing now completely encloses the team’s playing field.

“We’re very excited,” GHS head coach Julie Berggren said. “We’ve been waiting on this for a very long time. It finally looks like a real field to us.

“It’s just gonna be a great place for the team.”

In the past, the team has dealt with a 4-foot, temporary fence in the outfield and an incomplete fence down the foul lines.

Not anymore.

After years of failed requests, the program finally received a $14,000 maintenance grant from the Gilroy Unified School District this fall and West Coast Fence was quickly called upon to install the main project.

Before the start of practice Feb.1, the Mustangs also plan on adding a warning track to the outfield and extra dirt to the infield.

“In fairness to the program, we needed to make the sure the girls’ facilities were on par with the boys (baseball), or were at least getting to that point,” GHS athletic director Jack Daley.

“So it’s something we’ve known we needed to do for awhile. It was just a matter of getting the district to agree to the money.”

Speaking of money, Berggren said the outfield fence will provide the program with a fundraising boost by allowing sponsors to fill it with advertising.

According to the fourth-year coach, the new addition also places Gilroy‚s stadium at the top of the heap when it comes to the Tri-County Athletic League.

Live Oak plays at a community park with no fence. Notre Dame’s outfield merges with another one behind it. And while North Salinas has a fence, it’s extremely deep and never within play.

Only the Salinas Sports Complex can boast of a fully enlosed field.

“This (fence) is something other coaches before me really wanted as well,” Berggren said. “And I know some of the alums are disappointed it never happened when they played here.

“But at the same time, they’re excited for us. And I know the girls we have right now are really excited about it.”

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