Women's Pro Softball Coming To Daytona Beach

Jackie Robinson Ballpark from Orange Avenue

Daytona Beach, FL - It looks like a whole new team will be coming to play in "The Jack" sometime soon.

Despite a rainy start to the day (April 2nd), the Daytona Tortugas opened up Jackie Robinson Ballpark for a preview of what's to come on opening day (April 4th).

But, instead of talking baseball, some of the Tortugas were ready to talk softball instead.

Tomorrow (April 3rd), city officials, team ownership and team staff will announce the beginning of a brand new fastpitch women's professional softball team coming to Daytona Beach.

"To have a women's professional softball team, another professional sport in Daytona, it's a big deal," said Bob Fregolle, owner of the Daytona Tortugas.

It's not known what the team's new name will be as of yet. According to Ryan Keur, the President of the Tortugas, the new team will not be affiliated with the Tortugas but some of the Tortugas staff will have a hand in the operation, primarily in marketing, ticket sales and gameday atmosphere.

However, when softball comes to a baseball stadium, there will have to be some changes to the field.

Jackie Robinson Ballpark as seen from left field

At the Jack, the distance from home to the back fence at center field is 400 feet, 325 feet to right field and 317 to left field. Softball will require smaller dimensions, with some fields ranging from 315 feet to 220 feet from home to center field.

But Keur says the team is ready to make changes.

"The mound from a logistics standpoint is the biggest change that we'll have to have and obviously all the dimensions," said Keur. "It's a different fence size. You're not having to hit a softball 330 feet down the line and 400 feet to center."

All those changes, according to Fregolle, will help show how modular the Jack has become since its upgrade a couple of months ago.

"Clearly because of the field change over the winter, we were able to do that (with the new team)," said Fregolle.

An official debut date for the team hasn't been announced, but they expect the team to come sometime this summer. More details are expected on Wednesday (April 3rd) during a press conference featuring National Pro Fastpitch League Commissioner Cheri Kempf.


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