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Bethel to add women’s softball to sports roster in 2011

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College will step in line with the other member schools in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) with the addition of women’s softball to its roster of intercollegiate sports.

The Bethel College Board has approved a proposal to begin working toward hiring a coach and recruiting players with the goal of launching a softball team by fall 2011.

Bethel is the only school in the 10-member KCAC that currently has no women’s softball team. In addition, the hope is that the new sport will increase the number of female student-athletes and boost enrollment overall. Admissions staff report that significant numbers of prospective students in the last several years have either asked whether Bethel had women’s softball or expressed interest in playing if it did. Softball would also give all Bethel students another spring spectator sport.

“Bethel now offers a complete KCAC menu of sports for women, along with basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, track and volleyball,” said Athletic Director Diane Flickner. “The addition of softball has already generated excitement on campus and there is every indication it will provide Bethel College with a great opportunity to expand its recruitment pool.

“Intercollegiate athletics is an integral part of life at Bethel College,” she added. “We are looking forward to establishing a competitive softball program that provides our students with another avenue to develop lifelong skills of teamwork and leadership.”

“The goal at Bethel College is always to better serve students,” said John Sheriff, interim president. “I appreciate the collaborative efforts of our faculty along with admissions, athletic and business affairs staff, to enable women athletes who want to participate in intercollegiate softball to pursue that interest as part of their Bethel experience.”

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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