Field of Dreams
— A new season arrived Tuesday for the Cambridge-South Dorchester High School softball team, and the players celebrated by christening the school’s new softball field with a 17-3 victory over Crisfield.
The new field is located between the baseball field and football stadium, allowing for the team to play on campus rather than at the Christ Rock sports facility.
“The field is beautiful,” said head coach Kareem Otey. “The construction crews and staff did a great job. We are excited to have a great home here on campus.”
The new field features a more regulation-sized layout with infield dimensions for fast-pitch softball, and outfield fences just little over 200 feet from home plate.
The Christ Rock field also was used for baseball with fences more than 350 feet away and a baseball-sized infield. The change will allow for more home runs since no player has hit a ball over the fence at Christ Rock during Otey’s tenure.
“In the past, we had a lot of balls hit that would have been home runs at other fields but ended with outs at Christ Rock,” Otey said. “Now, the girls will get rewarded for putting a good swing on the ball.”
Otey said the team has been having fun with the idea of who would hit the team’s first home run.
“We may do a home run derby in practice this week to see who could be the first,” she added. “The girls are excited. This field is something they can take ownership of. They can make their memories here.”
The Vikings did not hit any home runs in Tuesday’s 17-3 opening day victory against Crisfield. Freshman Paige Phillips pitched and picked up her first career win. Sophomore Sabrina McKelvey received player of the game honors by going 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases.
Cambridge-SD Athletic Director Dan Dobronz said he attended both baseball and softball games, and enjoyed how fans and parents could walk freely between fields.
“It was just really cool sitting back and feeling a part of both games,” he said. “The parking lot was packed. There were parents and fans all over the place. You could see people walking back and forth.
“It was a really cool atmosphere,” he added. “I envision a concession stand to further connect the fields for the future.”
Cambridge-SD has received several state honors for its facilities, and hosts many Bayside Conference championship events, including the basketball, cross country, wrestling and outdoor track and field championships, as well as the senior football and basketball all-star games and the District VIII tennis championships.
The school received the Bayside Conference’s 2016 Sportsmanship Award, earning high marks for its facilities and the way its athletes interacted with other schools. Criteria for the Sportsmanship Award includes experience at the school’s facilities.
In April 2016, the maintenance staff at Cambridge-SD received the Silver Hammer Award for innovative facility upkeep from Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. Cambridge-South Dorchester is a shining example for exceptional school maintenance, Franchot said during his visit to the school last April.
“I would just like to take a moment and recognize all the individuals who have ensured that CambridgeSouth Dorchester is in tiptop shape,” Franchot said. “I’m particularly grateful to Cambridge-South Dorchester and the superb maintenance team here for their diligent work in keeping this school in great shape. Their efforts are well recognized and documented by the rating that this school received during its most recent state inspection.
“This award that we give today is one of the most important in the entire state of Maryland,” he said. “This award is a unique recognition given by state government.”
Cambridge-SD continues with facility improvement projects. Last year, the school built a new press box for Viking Stadium and added WiFi to the press box. In December, the basketball teams christened a new, 94foot wood basketball floor.
“Cambridge is in the perfect spot,” Dobronz said. “We are literally the center-point of the Bayside Conference. Teams like coming here.
“We are proud to add top-notch softball field to go along with our other topnotch facilities,” he said. “It is great for the school and great for the community.”
The Vikings hit the road for the next three games, but return home to host St. Michaels at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 29.
Cambridge-South Dorchester High’s softball team opened its new softball field with a 17-3 victory over Crisfield Tuesday, March 21.
PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT Cambridge-South Dorchester High’s softball team opened its new softball field with a 17-3 victory over Crisfield Tuesday, March 21.