UO Special Collections and University Archives, in collaboration with Oregon Softball and the Women In Flight program, presents a three-part series this week detailing the early history of Oregon women’s softball in celebration of the last regular season games this weekend at Howe Field (1936-2015). Part I focused on the career of Becky Sisley, former women’s athletic director at the University of Oregon, and her contributions to the growth of women’s athletics on campus; Part II features a look at the rise of softball in the 1970s in the wake of Title IX legislation; and today’s post details the development of UO’s first dedicated softball field in 1979.
In its first dozen years of existence under Sisley, the UO women’s softball team was without a home of its own. Until 1969, the team split its practices and its home games between Gerlinger Field and the library field next to Pioneer Cemetery. Games played on Gerlinger Field had special ground rules when fair balls were hit into the cemetery. With the growing interest in the sport among the Oregon colleges, the softball team was forced to seek accommodations off campus. Continue reading