Today and Saturday, the Bears are hosting Service on the artificial turf at Baranof Field. It might be the first home games away from East Addition Field in the program’s history.
“We are kind of excited,” Kodiak coach Sam Catt said. “It will be something new.”
It won’t be Kodiak’s first time playing on turf. The Bears did that in Sitka earlier this season — Sitka’s softball and baseball team share an artificial turf field.
Baranof Field will be transformed to accommodate softball. The pitchers mound will be removed and a pitching rubber will be placed 43 feet in front of home plate, the bases will be 60 feet apart instead of 90 and a temporary fence will be placed in the outfield — 200 feet down the lines and 225 to center.
East Addition Park is 200 feet all the way around.
“There will be a little more room,” Catt said. “That could be good and bad. I think it will be good for us. We got some pretty fast outfielders.”
Catt said the girls would have to learn how to slide on turf and get used to fielding ground balls of the surface.
“You get a lot of true bounces and you usually don’t get any weird hops like you do on our field from the rocks and the pebbles,” he said.
Catt said he hopes playing at least one weekend at Baranof becomes a yearly thing.
Kodiak enters the weekend nonconference three-game series with Service on a four-game winning streak.
Service, a large school that plays in the Cook Inlet Conference, beat Kodiak last year 7-1. In that game, freshman Kalameli Matautia started in place of injured pitcher Kaia Yatsik.
“We are looking forward to seeing them and facing them,” Catt said.
Kodiak plays a doubleheader today with the first game at 3 p.m. and the nightcap at 7 p.m. Saturday’s game starts at 1 p.m.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.