Del Smith Stadium has steadily evolved into a jewel among college softball facilities in the Pacific Northwest. Named in honor of trustee emeritus and longtime Linfield College athletics supporter Del Smith, the facility slowly took shape over a 15-year period. Many of the early improvements came through the work of players and volunteers using donated materials.
In 1990, the softball field became a permanent, softball-only facility. Prior to the 1990 season, the softball field was also used as the Wildcats' soccer field in the fall. At that time, the field underwent a facelift as the playing surface was moved back 25 feet from the street to allow for portable bleachers, a temporary outfield fence was installed and a single batting cage was erected.
In 1995, a substantial upgrade was undertaken which added two covered team dugouts and a home-team dressing room. In addition, a six-foot cyclone fence was permanently installed around the field's perimeter and the batting cages were outfitted with an Astroturf base.
The move toward permanent seating began in 1997 when an elevated platform was constructed. Stadium lighting was later added in 2001. Recent additions include a warning track and outfield foul poles. Red vinyl slats were inserted into the perimeter fence, adding a finished look as well as a feeling of intimacy to the venue.
By 2008, an all-aluminum 400-seat grandstand replaced three sets of portable bleachers, doubling seating capacity. The majority of the funding was provided by a gift from Smith.
An enclosed pressbox replaced a makeshift plywood shelter that provided protection from the weather for statisticians and game officials. Mounted on a steel pedestal 25 feet above the ground, the pressbox sits just behind the last row of seating.
During the same period of time, an enhanced scoreboard with capability to display each score by inning, replaced the aging model in right field.
The facility took another major step forward in 2010 with the completion of two covered and partially enclosed batting cages beyond the outfield wall.
Most recently, the infield and outfield surfaces were completely revamped in 2011. The top layer of soil was removed, drainage tile was inspected and repaired, and a several layers of gravel and sand were applied to improve the field’s ability to drain during prolonged periods of rain.
In addition, auxiliary seating sections were created in the right- and left-field corners to accommodate additional fans during multi-team tournaments. New bullpens were also added next to each team’s respective dugout.