A Field Grows in Bronxville
Build it, it’s said, and they will come. In the case of Sarah Lawrence, gather a team, and its arena shall be made ready.
Last fall, the slope behind Marshall Field, for many years a lawn and most recently a parking area during the construction of the Heimbold Visual Arts Center, was leveled, seeded and landscaped in preparation for the debut this spring of the Sarah Lawrence College women’s softball team.
Once used for impromptu games and the celebrated contest each summer among writers and poets, the field now adheres to NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules for intercollegiate fast-pitch softball, including 43 feet from pitcher to batter, 60 feet between bases and 190 feet to the outfield foul poles.
The team played an informal seven-game schedule last spring, and this year officially joins the Hudson Valley Women’s Athletic Conference. Coached by Mary LeVine, director of physical education and athletics, its schedule includes games with area rivals like Purchase College and the College of New Rochelle.
The Field field should have lush green turf by the time the first Gryphons range the deepest reaches of the new outfield under the early springtime sun. Preparation of the infield required a few more steps: a barrier of woven fabric, to prevent buried stones from working their way to the surface, then two inches of sand and, finally, several more inches of a sand-clay mix—“soft and easy to slide on,” according to Ani Adishian ’95, the College’s landscape contractor. Intercollegiate softball infields are “skinned”— dirt only.
With off-field space for little more than the two teams’ benches, bleachers were necessarily forsaken. The best view in the house, LeVine and Adishian agree, is already installed: Marshall Field’s graceful back terrace, the perfect vantage point from which to cheer on the Girls of Spring.