HomeUncategorizedMadison softball hosts first game on new field

Madison softball hosts first game on new field

Audra Yates just started her second season as the head softball coach at Madison Academic, but she’s already spearheaded a successful initiative for the Lady Mustangs’ program.

After not having a home field for most of last season, Madison hosted North Side High School for its season-opener on Monday.

Madison began playing its games this week on the old Lambuth softball field on the back of the University of Memphis-Lambuth campus next to the tennis courts.

Because no one had played on the field since before Memphis bought the campus when Lambuth University closed in 2011, Yates said there was plenty of work to do on the field.

“We started looking at it last summer and got permission from University of Memphis to start working on the field in July,” Yates said. “And I was talking to my parents about the work it would take to get the field back in shape.

“We were hesitant, but the girls on this team deserve their own field to call home – a place to play half our games without having to get on a bus and scarf down food after class in a hurry to get there.”

The field at the beginning of the transformation had plenty of work to be done.

“There were literally trees in the outfield,” Yates said.

Vines were growing on much of the fence, and both dugouts had damaged roofs and plenty of graffiti spraypainted on them.

But Yates, her parents and a few parents and other program supporters put in work to get the field in shape.

“We were going to host a game on opening day,” Yates said. “We scheduled North Side as early as we could this year because we didn’t get to play last year because our games with them kept getting canceled and moved back because of rain and we never could play.

“So everything worked out for us to be able to open the season at home.”

Jackson Mayor Scott Conger, Madison County Mayor A.J. Massey, various members of the Jackson-Madison County School Board and leaders from the district including Ricky Catlett and Jason Bridgeman were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony before the game.

Yates said there is still plenty of work to be done. The field doesn’t have a concession stand yet, but they did have a couple of food trucks in the parking lot for Monday’s game.

The previous scoreboard was taken down because it was inoperable, and Yates is hopeful to get a used one from elsewhere in the county.

But the dugouts’ roofs are fixed, and they’ve been painted gray with the Madison Academic logo on them.

The field is full of green grass throughout the outfield and outside the foul lines in the infield.

“We put sod down on the infield and part of the outfield and my parents and I literally were coming out here watering the grass in shifts on certain days,” Yates said. “My dad is a yard guy, and he said the work we put in this past year would eventually pay off.

“He said we won’t have the nicest field in the city this year and probably not next year, but we will in two years if we keep working on it.”

As far as the game goes, the Lady Mustangs got the win over the Lady Indians to come back from Spring Break next week with a 1-0 record.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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