April 19, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma softball program is one of national prominence and tradition. Equally impressive are the top-notch softball facilities. OU was one of the country’s first schools outside of the Pac-10 Conference to build a separate facility specifically for softball in 1998, showing commitment to the women’s program. Schools all across the country soon followed suit as softball complexes started being developed across the country.
Although the softball complex was built in 1998, it has not always been referred to as Marita Hynes Field. The field was dedicated to the former coach and senior woman administrator on April 24, 2004.
The complex, which has a seating capacity of 1,000, uses synthetic waterproof dirt on the infield and warning track. The OU softball complex has also seen recent improvements with the installment of the indoor facility in January of 2009. The indoor facility is 6,020 square feet and features a 65’ x 65’ infield with Hilltopper infield dirt. The infield also accommodates four hitting lanes.
Since the complex opened in 1998, Oklahoma has fared well at the facility. The Sooners have been in impressive in Norman with an overall home record of 265-43-1(.858) and conference record of 82-23 (.781). The Sooners are protecting home field once again, as they have posted a 12-2 home record during the 2010 season.
As the leader in the effort to get construction underway for a separate softball facility, Hynes oversaw the construction of the OU Softball Complex. She also led the fundraising campaign for the field. Hynes can also be credited with attracting the Women’s College World Series to Oklahoma City.
Hynes was the second coach in the softball program and helped increase the popularity of the sport nationwide. After her coaching career, Hynes stayed and became an administrator in the OU athletic department. She came to OU in 1976 after leading Putnam City High School to a state championship. Hynes retired in May 2003.
For the countless contributions Hynes has given to OU, the athletics department officially named the playing field in her honor for all she did for the OU softball program and women’s programs across the country.
Lacy Barnes is a student assistant in the OU Athletics Communications Office.
This Week in Oklahoma Softball History
As the 2010 season unfolds, SoonerSports.com takes a look back at some of the most memorable moments in Oklahoma softball history. Check back each week as we bring you this weekly edition.