East Texas Baptist University’s Taylor Field was named by Turface Athletics as 2018 NFCA Field of the Year in NCAA Division III. Selected by the NFCA Awards Committee, the top fields and stadiums in the nation are recognized for their exceptional playing surfaces and grounds maintenance.
“We could not be more honored to have Taylor Field named as the NFCA Division III Field of the year,” ETBU Softball Head Coach Janae Shirley shared. “The tremendous support from our administration and our donors has allowed us to enhance the experience for our student athletes here at ETBU and showcase their talents at a top-notch facility. Being an alumna of ETBU and this program, it has been amazing to see the transition of ETBU’s Taylor field over the years and it is a place I am very proud to call home.”
Constructed in 1998, Taylor Field has continually been improved to ensure a quality environment. In 2017, Tiger Softball launched the Domus Victorium–Solus Christus…a Home for Champions–For Christ Alone campaign to raise funding for a 3,000 square foot facility, featuring a locker room for 32 student-athletes, coaches’ offices, and a lounge for team study, fellowship, and discipleship. In addition to the clubhouse, ETBU upgraded Taylor Field with an artificial playing surface by Symmetry Turf of Mt. Pleasant, Texas in the infield and outfield, a new padded outfield wall for enhanced player safety, backstop netting, handicapped-access stands in the left and right field, and a berm for additional seating in center field.
“This is a great honor for ETBU and the Tiger Softball program,” ETBU Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “We are grateful to our faithful supporters, alumni, coaches, and staff, who have enabled us to construct one of the top facilities in the country. ETBU Softball strives for excellence within their program, and we have been blessed to provide them a first-class facility. Our coaching staff continues to recruit the highest caliber student-athletes, who desire to be in a Christ-centered program.”
Tiger Softball is an NCAA Division III national championship caliber program and their goal is to use their nationally-ranked team as a platform to share the Gospel of Jesus. ETBU Athletics believes in building players that become ambassadors for Christ in their field of study. Tiger Softball alumni and current student-athletes are grateful for the support and encouragement of those, who generously gave and have recognized the hard work and success of the program.
“ETBU Softball empowers and equips our team for the future because the program is centered around Christ. We are taught that the most important thing in our lives is to be centered around the purpose of the Lord,” ETBU junior Morgan Arst expressed. “The clubhouse has become a second home to us. It gives us a safe place to build community by hanging out, studying together, and having Bible studies. The new facilities completely changed the dynamic of our team. We practice every day, motivated by knowing we have people, who believe in us and think we are capable of competing with anyone in the nation. The contribution of the donors means everything to me and the rest of the team. Their support of Tiger Softball has helped build the program up to what it is today. We are honored to continue the legacy of the program.”