Whenever he can, John Rittman makes it a point to drive by the construction site where Clemson’s new softball program is being built so he can see how things are going.
“Everyday I am in town, I drive by,” the coach said while smiling. “So, this is a busy recruiting time of year. But honestly, I am one of those that drive by and kind of peak from the outside.”
There was no need for Rittman to peak on Tuesday. He, along with several members of the Clemson Athletic Department and donors, were on hand to participate in the topping off ceremony for Clemson’s new ballpark.
Tuesday signified another step closer for Clemson and the reality of its softball program.
“We have, obviously, taken a lot of recruits through the construction site to show them the progress of the stadium,” Rittman said. “We had our players, who are here for summer school, we have taken them on a tour to let them see the progress of the stadium.
“It is one of those where, it is like building your home. You come by and check on it and see the progress and it gets you more excited every time you drive by it.”
Clemson has been told the new stadium will be move-in-ready by the end of October or the beginning of November. But the team is hoping to get on their field for the team part of their practices in the middle of September.
“We have to have cooperation with Mother Nature, obviously, and then hopefully the infield and the outfield grass and everything gets settled and we are able to get into the stadium and start practicing in the middle of September or the end of September,” Rittman said.
Clemson’s softball coach says the Tigers will begin fall practice in August. The 2020 softball season will begin in February.
“It means everything to us,” Rittman said about Tuesday’s ceremony. “It has been a very long process since November of 2017, when I was hired. We have literally seen this stadium from the ground up. So, it is certainly been a process that we have been very involved with…
“…We are definitely super excited about today and moving forward.”
–Photo by Tanner Hall, Clemson Athletic Communications