We must admit we’re pretty intrigued by the notion of summer-collegiate softball. If you’ve spent any time watching collegiate softball, you know the game experience is unique. And, of course, we’re all for more opportunities for women athletes. While there are some logistical issues–if a men’s summer-collegiate team shares a facility with a women’s softball team, synthetic turf and a reconfigurable field is pretty much a must.
“We’re thrilled for La Crosse to be announced as the first Northwoods League Softball location,” said Northwoods League Softball President/Commissioner Kathryn Reynolds via press release. “Dan Kapanke and his team have been a driving force behind the formation of Northwoods League Softball. La Crosse has been an asset to Northwoods League Baseball for many years and we’re so excited for the opportunity to build on their strong foundation to be a leader in summer collegiate softball.”
The Northwoods League Softball season will launch in June of 2024.
“I believe this announcement is one of the most significant developments in women’s collegiate athletics in a long time,” said La Crosse Loggers owner Dan Kapanke via press release. “We are excited to be on the cutting edge of something that is going to be very special.”
Additional teams will be announced in the coming weeks by the League at northwoodsleague.com.
Seeking to join La Crosse as hosting a Northwoods League Softball team: the owners of the Mankato MoonDogs, which also includes Loggers management and adds Chad Surprenant and Kyle Smith as owners. Both teams would play out of ISG Field (the former Franklin Rogers Park). The ballpark already features synthetic turf, so switching from baseball from softball would mean portable fencing, relocation of bases and a removable pitching mound. The Mankato group is seeking a one-year lease on a test basis; if the 20 new softball dates work out, the lease could be extended.