Texas Woman’s University’s softball team has recently been granted the single greatest donation that TWU Athletics has ever received in the history of the university.
February 22, TWU officials made the announcement at a Board of Regents meeting that the TWU softball program had received a gift of $500,000 from a living TWU alumni and softball legend, Dianne I. Baker.
Baker attended TWU in the 1970s and lettered in five sports during the four years she attended the university. In 1975, during her senior year, Baker played in the College Softball World Series as a representative of Texas and was named the outstanding college athlete of America.
Baker has a certain legacy at TWU. Not only did she attend TWU as a student athlete, but she also served as a TWU softball coach until her retirement in 2005. In fact, she is the original designer of TWU’s current softball field, a design she created back in 1995.
Beyond her accomplishments at TWU, Baker has made a name for herself in other areas of her life as well. She has produced a series of videos on softball information called the Dianne Baker Softball Series, written many books and articles and currently works as the national promotions director of softball at Schutt Sports. Baker is also considered one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history.
Baker wants her commitment of $500,000 to the TWU softball program to go towards the needed renovations and upkeep of the TWU Pioneer Softball Field. Officials plan to honor this wish by starting with renovations to the press box and seating at the field.
In comparison to other university’s softball fields, which tend to be surrounded by concrete, TWU has a unique set up. The field at TWU is set amongst large oak trees and rolling hills found behind the university house. According to the TWU Director of Student Life Communications Amy Evans, Baker wishes for her donation to preserve the unique naturalness of TWU’s softball field. Baker wants the field to be kept natural, so it can be a nice place for families and TWU fans to bring family, have picnics, enjoy the game and support TWU sports.
In addition to renovating the field, Baker has also expressed that she wants this field to honor others as well. Over her lifetime, she has coached one Olympian and 20 All-Americans. Baker has said that this field is also a gift to them as well as any former players, teammates, coaches, fans and competitors.
There will be a TWU softball reunion in the fall of 2019, which will coincide with the renovations made to the press box and seating at the field.