SARATOGA - Construction crews began demolishing the venerable West Valley Softball Complex June 1. The demolition marks the start of construction of the much-anticipated new $19M complex, which will give Coach Vicky Piatt and her Vikings an unmatched state-of-the-art facility.
The new, as-yet-unamed complex will feature chair-style seating, a feature-laden scoreboard, sunken dugouts with built-in restrooms and attached team locker rooms, a turf game field and dirt regulation-size practice infield, coverered and lighted batting cages with retractable netting, on-site umpire changing rooms and a raised press box. Fan conveniences include on-site restooms and a shaded picnic area.
Coach Piatt is understandably ecstatic about her new home, saying, "WVC softball will be winning games in style! Our chancellor Brad Davis and our AD John Vlahos have led the charge in this masterpiece and have built us a place where goals and dreams can be achieved. Our athletes will now play in a place where the facility matches the type of coaching, softball program and college experience they recieve at West Valley - first class!"
As a former Olympian, professional player and Cal Bear, Piatt has, "first-hand knowledge of how amazing - or not so amazing - facilities can be." A lifelong advocate for women in sports, Piatt sees the facility as standing for so much more than just monetary value. "Yes, the amount we're spending is significant, but it is an investment in today's young women in sports and an investment in the Viking softball program and coaching staff. West Valley has shown it believes in the value of providing women athletes a facility that matches their worth. The facility will help show that our women student athletes are believed in, are valued and are cared about. Their dreams will be met with the best resources available and their skills and unyielding passion for growth will be nurtured."
"Words can't explain how grateful and proud I am to be a Viking," Piatt said. "I feel so fortunate to work at a place that wants to succeed and be the best. Society has often put women in sports on the back burner, but not at West Valley. The floodgates have opened and West Valley softball has raised the bar." Piatt believes, "This is the premier community college softball program in the state and we're ready to lead athletes to their dreams. Our women will be able to play the sport they love on a field built for Viking QUEENS!"
Construction is expected to be completed in 18 months, just in time for the 2021-2022 season. The old West Valley Softball Complex was built in the 1970's and was the home to CCCAA state champions under Head Coach Les Hearn in 1990 and 2002.
(West Valley College Athletics)