Women's Softball arrives on campus
Southwestern dedicates new sport and ballfield
Dr. Bridges throws out first pitch
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A long-awaited day arrived with plenty of fanfare. The first-ever women’s softball game played at the new, on-campus ballpark was met by hundreds of students and a free cookout on a glorious sun-splashed afternoon.
The only thing missing for Southwestern Assemblies of God University was a victory, as Huston-Tillotson University rolled to a smooth 8-0 triumph over the Lady Lions.
A pre-game dedication ceremony began with opening remarks from Jesse Godding, Southwestern’s Athletic Director. He addressed the crowd with comments about the 40th year anniversary of Title IX legislation, which ensured equality for women in collegiate athletics.
Coach Godding also shared some visionary statements about the development of sports at SAGU, including the arrival on campus for softball this spring and news that baseball will follow the Lady Lions to 1200 Sycamore Street. Their field is undergoing work to ready their adjacent facility for side-by-side action next spring.
He concluded with a dedicatory prayer, giving thanks to God for those who’s giving helped lead to this moment, as well as the leadership of others at SAGU.
Three representatives from the Lady Lions, led by Assistant Coach Rachel Harris, then presented Coach Godding, Vice President for Student Services (which covers athletics) Terry Phipps, and SAGU President, Dr. Kermit Bridges, with softball hoodies and shirts.
Following the introduction of both teams, Dr. Bridges threw out the ceremonial first pitch to freshman catcher Kyla Burke (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS). His delivery was straight down the middle of the plate!
Head Coach Tim Grant’s squad played inspired ball, much to the delight of a fan base who will be able to walk to games in the future.
The visiting Lady Rams scored in four of the six innings, outhitting SAGU 9-2. They took advantage of three Southwestern miscues, five walks and four passed balls.
Burke had the team’s best defensive play with a tag-out at home. Laura Johnson (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) and Tabitha Ray (Brazoria, Tx / Homeschool) pitched well in the setback.
They received solid defensive plays at third from Chelsey Doyle (Seattle, Wash / Shorecrest HS), Kelsea Svochak (Ft. Worth, Tx / Bethesda HS) and Gabby Bruner (Peaster, Tx / Peaster HS) in the outfield and two great stretch ‘n catch putouts at first by Kasey Poovey (Nevada, TX / Community HS).
With the win, Tillotson improved their record to 6-20 overall and 4-6 in the Red River Athletic Conference.
SAGU slid to 1-17 in all games and 0-15 in league games.
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 30, starting at noon. The second contest will begin approximately twenty minutes after the first.
It will be the team’s final home game unless they can reschedule the three-game series against Texas College (0-17, 0-9 in RRAC) that was postponed a month ago.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at
or at 469-658-2847.