Home Field Advantage for ISU Softball Team Moves Closer to Reality

Western States Equipment Company donates time and equipment to begin construction of Miller Ranch Stadium.

Pocatello, ID -- The thirteenth season of Idaho State University softball may be the luckiest as Miller Ranch Stadium, the new on-campus home softball stadium and field, begins construction at Bartz Field. Western States Equipment Company is donating time, expertise and equipment valued at approximately $30,000 to help launch the initial phase of construction. Grading for the NCAA regulation softball field is expected to be complete by end of day Wednesday, August 25. The softball team will open play at Miller Ranch Stadium for the 2011 season.

"We are very thankful to Western States Equipment Company for donating their considerable expertise, equipment and effort to help launch Miller Ranch Stadium's first phase," said Idaho State Director of Athletic Jeff Tingey. "It's extremely exciting to see ISU's first dedicated softball facility begin to take shape. We look forward to creating an exciting atmosphere and memories that will make ISU athletes, students, alumni and supporters all proud for years to come."

"Western States is committed to giving back to the communities we serve, so when we heard about the need for some additional help with the Miller Ranch Stadium project our Technology Solutions division and Pocatello branch teams were excited to contribute," said Western States President Tom Harris. "We will use a full range of equipment and technology to ensure this softball field meets and exceeds NCAA standards, from lasers to GPS to optical systems. Anyone interested in seeing this technology and equipment in action should stop by today or tomorrow. We're happy to be part of Miller Ranch Stadium history and believe it will be a first-class project and a source of pride for ISU and its fans for years to come."

Miller Ranch Stadium will be completed in two phases. The first phase will feature a completely graded out and level playing surface, with new sod and a clay infield, batting cages, full-length in-ground dugouts, an electronic inning-by-inning scoreboard and bullpens. The field will also have a six-foot outfield fence with a full windscreen. The second phase, to be commenced upon the selling of the land, will feature full amenities such as a full press box, grandstands, concessions and permanent bathrooms. Miller Ranch Stadium was made possible with a gift of land in the Teton Valley in the Driggs area by Sylvia Papenberg back in 2008. The donation of land, valued at over $1 million, is the largest single contribution to the athletic department in school history. The property in the Teton Valley formerly housed the family ranch, Miller Ranch, hence the new stadium's name.

ISU softball recently finished their 12th season of play, and fourth since being revived for the 2007 season after a 23-year absence. The team played both in Holt Arena and at Cadet Field outside of Reed Gym from 1976-83. In 2007, the team played in Chubbuck at Capell Park, and for the past three years, the team has played at Rainey Park in Pocatello.

About Western States Equipment

With more than 70 years experience in the agricultural, mining and construction industries, Western States Equipment is an authorized Caterpillar dealer for five mountain states with 13 branches located in Idaho, western Wyoming and Montana, and eastern Oregon and Washington. http://westernstatescat.com.