Gulf Coast officially opens new ballpark, then extends long win streak

PANAMA CITY, FL (WJHG/WECP) It is now offiical, the Gulf Coast softball program is celebrating its brand new home, and is also in the midst of a pretty impressive win streak!

Monday coach Beth Wade, her team, boosters, fans and school administrators hosting the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Joe Tom King Field!

Expansion for the college forcing the softball facility from the southeast corner of the campus, across the street that connects Highway 98 and 23rd Street.

Members of the field's namesake, Joe Tom King also on hand for the ribbon cutting and to help toss out the first pitch.

"Oh we're just excited," coach Wade told us Monday. "we love playing at home and in this beautiful facility. And having fun doing it. It means a lot, it's a great facility to play in, it's great for recruiting. You know the kids spend a lot of time here, so to have a facility like this to spend that time in is good. The kids are happy and excited and when they're happy and excited they usually play better. So, we're looking forward to playing conference games out here pretty quickly. We open on Thursday with Tallahassee, so we'll get rolling pretty quickly and the panhandle's tough so it'll be fun."

Says sophomore player Chandler Sparkman "It's really cool to be out here. We've been playing at Frank Brown since the beginning of the season, so being out here and having our own place, it's really, nice. It's really good."

After the ribbon cutting and first pitch, Gulf Coast went out and swept two from Carl Sandburg College out of the Chicago area, 11-2 in five in game one. Then 6-1 in the nightcap. Those two wins taking Gulf Coast's win streak to 29 as the Commodores get set to open conference play Thursday at home against Tallahassee. The team now 29-1.