Softball plays on Devine Diamond for first time


Matthew Brown

Toledo University fifth year Anna Dixon scrambles to reach a safe base as Kent State sophomore Savannah Wing and redshirt senior Alexandria Whitmore cut her off between second and third during the double header on April 15, 2023.

Kyle Kuchta, Reporter

On March 24, 2022, Director of Athletics Randale Richmond announced the plans to renovate Kent State’s softball team’s field.

Last Friday, the Flashes finally played on the new Devine Diamond, named after Judy Devine who was a pioneer in KSU women’s athletics, against Toledo in their home-opener. 

KSU couldn’t get the series win but had a good showing from the crowd over the past weekend. Kent State has been playing at Baldwin Wallace University for their home games this season.

“It was good to have the home crowd. We did have some people come and watch us over at Baldwin Wallace, it was obviously easier for people to come to,” coach Eric Oakley said. “Being a northern team, we spend three quarters or more of our season on the road, so it’s nice to finally get back out there.”

The Flashes’ first two home series were moved to Baldwin Wallace as the stadium was not ready and were still undergoing renovations. 

Kent State’s new field consists of a dirt infield and a turf outfield which seems to be a trend with teams having this type of field.

“There are a lot of places that are going in that direction now; I know Ball State and Michigan are like that,” Oakley said. “A few years ago the turf was like carpet and wasn’t very similar to grass now, doing the turf outfield and dirt infield when they asked me my opinion, that was my preference.” 

The team was able to first step foot on the field Wednesday before the weekend series for practice. Kent State will get used to the field overtime. 

“I think the more we get opportunities to practice on it, the more we’ll start to understand the bounces,” Oakley said. “It’s like a new pair of shows and we got to walk around a little bit.”

The Flashes return home April 25 against Buffalo for a three game conference series.

First pitch is 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Kyle Kuchta is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].