PIAA baseball, softball title games moved to Penn State
The PIAA baseball and softball championship games have been moved to Penn State's campus for at least the next four years, a decision made during Friday's Board of Control meeting in Mechanicsburg.
The move severs a longstanding link between PIAA softball and Shippensburg University.
"It will seem strange," said Mt. Lebanon coach Nicole Fajtak, who won a PIAA Class AAAA title in June at Shippensburg's Robb Field. "There was a lot of tradition there. You'd never say: 'Let's get to the state championship.' You'd say: 'Let's get to Shippensburg.' "
During the past 30 years, the PIAA baseball title games have moved occasionally, switching most recently from Harrisburg to Altoona's Blair County Ballpark in 2005.
But Shippensburg and softball had remained together for decades. Only twice during that span have the PIAA softball championships briefly moved elsewhere -- Altoona in 1989, Williamsport in '93-94.
Softball's new home will be Nittany Lion Softball Park, a facility Penn State began building in May.
The four baseball title games will be at Medlar Field, a 5,400-seat stadium opened in 2006. The stadium is used by Penn State baseball and the State College Spikes, the Pirates' Single-A affiliate.
The baseball and softball title games will be on the same dates: June 17, 2011; June 15, 2012; June 14, 2013; and June 13, 2014.
The PIAA also chose sites for track and field (Shippensburg), boys and girls lacrosse (Hersheypark Stadium), boys tennis (Hershey Racquet Club), girls spring soccer (Hersheypark Stadium) and boys volleyball (Penn State).
The PIAA basketball championships also are at Penn State.