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Rendering of Lenoir-Rhyne softball stadium.
courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Announces Renovations to Softball Complex

Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics announced a planned $3 million renovation of Bears Field, the home to LR’s softball team, on Friday at the 25 Years of Legacy event honoring Shena Hollar’s 25th year as head coach at LR. The stadium will be named the McCrorie Family Stadium in recognition of a lead gift from Hank McCrorie ’60 and his wife, Bernice McCrorie.

The renovation will feature new grandstands with stadium style seating, dugouts, press box, video board, scoreboard and sound system. In addition, there will be a new concession stand, stadium entrance, new backstop and net system, outfield wall padding, two covered VIP viewing areas, and new restrooms.

As part of the renovation, the field will be named Shena Hollar Field, in honor of Hollar’s celebrated career at LR. In her 25 years, LR has won 12 South Atlantic Conference regular-season conference titles and eight conference tournament championships. In addition, LR has appeared in the NCAA tournament fifteen times. Hollar enters the 2024 season only 29 wins shy of 1,000 career wins and ranked eighth among active Division II coaches in career wins.

“We are incredibly grateful for the transformative gift from Hank and Bernice for the renovation of Bears Field and for their support of Coach Hollar,” said Kim Pate, vice president of athletics at LR. “Their generosity is not just an investment in bricks and mortar, but in the dreams and aspirations of our student-athletes, coaches, and all of Bear Nation.”

Bears Field has been home to LR softball for more than four decades. In 1998, it received new home and away dugouts with storage facilities, as well as a new press box. Prior to the 2008 season, a state-of-the-art scoreboard and permanent lights were installed. Bears Field has a current seating capacity of 200, which will increase to 500 with the new grandstands

The renovation is part of LR Athletics strategic plan to upgrade its athletics facilities. In recent years, LR has built the McGeachy Sports Performance Center, which provides weight training facilities for all student-athletes; renovated Moretz Stadium, home to the LR football team and men’s and women’s lacrosse; renovated Durham Field, home to baseball; and enhanced Shuford Arena, home to men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.

The McCrorie’s are long-time supporters of Lenoir-Rhyne. A business administration major, Hank McCrorie was a four-year letterman for the LR football team. In 1994, he was inducted into the LR Sports Hall of Fame and is a current member of the LR board of trustees. Bernice McCrorie has served in various volunteer roles for LR and is a dedicated supporter of women’s athletics. In 2018, the LR softball team honored her as one of the “Women for the Charge” for her support and work on behalf of LR and the Hickory community.

“Hank and Bernice share a passion for LR and LR Athletics,” said University President Dr. Fred Whitt. “Their gift will help ensure that our student-athletes continue to train and compete in top-notch facilities, and all of the LR community thanks them for, once again, leading the way.”

Double Your Impact with a Matching Gift
To help close out this project, every gift made to the LR Bears Field renovation will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $500,000. This incredible opportunity doubles the impact of donations and brings us closer to realizing this vision.

Those interested in financially supporting this project are encouraged to contact Chase Cross, director of development, at 828.540.0167 or chase.cross@lr.edu.