Josephinum Academy in Wicker Park gets new softball field with Cubs Charities grant

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A new softball field at Josephinum Academy was made possible with a $90,000 grant from Cubs Charities. (WLS)

A newly renovated softball field was unveiled Tuesday at Josephinum Academy in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.

The new field was thanks to a $90,000 grant from Cubs Charities.

Students at the all-girls school participated in the Tuesday ribbon-cutting, which also featured a surprise visit from Cubs pitcher Jose Quintana.

"They can play better if they have a really good field and they can have a really good time when they play each other it's amazing," Quintana said.

Ariel Maldonado, a softball player and recent graduate, said the previous field was pretty rough.

"The grass was very bumpy, there was patches, so if someone would throw a ball in the outfield it was pretty difficult to catch it," Maldonado said.

Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts said the Diamond Project Capital grant - awarded for the first time to an all-girls school - was all about evening the playing field, both literally and figuratively.

"It's about softball, it's about this field but ultimately it's about the young women who go to school here, playing here and ultimately will become members of the community and we want them to do their best so we can be about best," Ricketts said.

Sister Janice Boyer, of the Sisters of Christian Charity, and Sister Mary Bernstein, of the Sacred Heart Network, joined Ricketts on the mound for the ceremonial first pitch.

The Josephinum students said they can't wait for the years of softball games and practices to come.

"We like to brag about it obviously and we're just glad we were chosen," Maldonado said.

This summer, Josephinum students will also participate in the Cubs' first-ever 18 and under girls softball league.
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