April 10, 2000
About 100 people were in attendance as Oklahoma Baptist University celebrated its new Lady Bison Softball Field with a dedication ceremony Friday, April 7.
Becky Carter, OBU's first female All-American, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Carter, a 1983 graduate, led OBU to two national tournament appearances and is the only softball player in the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame. She still holds seven softball records.
Fans were then treated to a Long Ball Hitting contest by the Lady Bison players and then by alumni, friends, fans and parents. Among the alumni taking up bats were Carter, Sheri Walden Rhoten, Cindy Garrison Hines, Darnell Day and Lady Bison coach Pam Fink.
Rhoten was the winner in the alumni division, narrowly beating Hines.
Among the parents, Ed Freeman was the winner, belting one pitch over the fence, but just foul. He is the father of Lady Bison freshman Kena Freeman.
Eric Wells, a senior from Guthrie, won the overall competition and was the only batter to clear the fence in fair territory.
After the fun-filled competition, the OBU physical plant workers were honored as representatives in attendance were brought on to the field.
OBU president Mark Brister addressed the gathering. He spoke of the U.S. Olympian who hit a home run against Australia but missed home plate, costing the team the game.
"It is important to finish well," said Brister. "This is the completion of something we have looked forward to for many years and we now have one of the finest facilities in our region. We appreciate the work of John Parrish (OBU executive vice president), Johnny Cullison (OBU assistant vice president for the physical plant), and the Physical Plant staff to make this happen."
Brister also praised the team that would occupy the new field.
"We are thankful that we have a team of student-athletes, led by Coach Fink, who are excellent representatives of OBU. These women are committed to excellence in athletics and in the classroom. They are committed to honoring Christ through their play. It is a fitting example that one of the first things they sought to do when they occupied the facility was to have a scripture verse sign on the outfield wall. That reflects the character that OBU seeks to build upon in the lives of our students."
Following Brister's comments, Coach Fink thanked the administration and physical plant workers for their commitment.
"This field was worth the wait," Fink said. "This is a beautiful field. The players love it here."
After the remarks, the players, alumni, fans and friends enjoyed a barbecue dinner at the ballpark.