Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.29
Our Lady of the Meadows Field 15926 Kelbaugh Rd Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Year Opened: 2014 Capacity: 250
Meadows Field Softball
Located in the Catoctin Mountain area of Frederick County, Maryland, in the town of Emmitsburg, Mount St. Mary’s University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the United States. The Mount’s athletic teams are known as the Mountaineers and compete in the Northeast Conference. Most of these teams play at the PNC Sports Complex, which contains several venues – Knott Arena, home of Mountaineers basketball, E.T. Straw Family Stadium, home of the baseball program, Waldron Family Stadium, home of the lacrosse and soccer teams, and Our Lady of the Meadows Field, which Mountaineers softball calls home.
Although softball has been played on this site for some time, the stadium has undergone several renovations since 2014 to make it more of a stadium and less of a field in the middle of nowhere, adding a batting cage, bleachers, and a scoreboard.
Food & Beverage 1
There is no concession stand at Our Lady of the Meadows Field. However, if you go next door to Knott Arena, you can find some vending machines which sell vending machine things at vending machine prices, including bottled water, soft drinks, and snacks. They accept credit cards, $1 bills, and coins. Use the lower entrance next to the field, not the upper entrance on the other side of the building like you would for basketball. Fans are free to bring in their own food and drink as well.
Our Lady of the Meadows Field is built into a hill, and you will walk into the stadium at the top. You can then walk down the bleachers to your seat or bring a lawn chair and sit on the grassy part of the hill itself. There are also additional bleachers further up the right field line. These are in the sun, while the other seats are in the shade of the press box, unless you bring your own chair. Which one is better depends on how hot it is that day. The top two rows of seats in the section under the press box are chairbacks, while all other seats are regular metal bleachers without backs. It is general admission, so arrive early if you want a chairback. A scoreboard in left-centerfield shows the line score, count, and runs, but not hits or errors.
As with most college softball programs in the northeast, a trip to Our Lady of the Meadows Field is a very basic experience, with music between innings but not much else. You will hear a lot of the communication that goes on down on the field, which some fans will enjoy, but other fans will be bored by the whole thing.
However, one thing that brings this rating up a bit is the energy brought by the players themselves from the dugout. They can get quite loud, louder than the fans at times.
Emmitsburg is a small town in Maryland just south of the Pennsylvania border, and there is really nothing within walking distance of campus. If you make the short drive into town, you will find a few places to eat and stay, as well as some interesting sites such as the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and various Catholic shrines. Thurmont is a short drive away, about 10 minutes south on Route 15, and offers more options than Emmitsburg itself. However, this is a very rural area, and while it’s scenic, there isn’t a whole lot to do here.
The Mountaineers typically draw 50-100 fans per game, mostly friends and family of the players but some locals as well. Those who do show up are extremely knowledgeable about every player on the team, able to recite their strengths, weaknesses, statistics, and past performances. It is clear that there is a group of regulars who goes to just about every game, though others are made to feel welcome as well.
The PNC Sports Complex, of which Our Lady of the Meadows Field is a part, is right off US Route 15. The Complex is clearly signed and contains numerous lots which serve the various fields. You will probably have to park on the side of Knott Arena and walk a short distance, but there are a few spots right next to the stadium. These are reserved for rec center staff on weekdays and you will not be able to park there, but on weekends, they are open to anyone.
There are no bathrooms at the stadium itself, but if you head into Knott Arena, you can find some in the lobby. As with the vending machines, use the entrance by the field, not the one you would for basketball. Assuming there’s not another event going on in Knott that day, they will be of a more than sufficient size and even though it’s in a different building, the walk takes less time than it would in many large stadiums.
Return on Investment 4
Admission is free and parking is free. If you want to buy a drink from the vending machine, you won’t end up spending more than a dollar or two on that. However, there isn’t enough here to earn the top score.
Free programs are available in a mailbox at the top of the stands by the press box.
In most of the northeast, college softball isn’t a huge deal, and Mount St. Mary’s is no exception. Given the rural setting of the Mount St. Mary’s campus, many fans won’t find this work the trek, but if you’re a fan of college softball who just likes taking in a game no matter where it is, or if you have some connection to The Mount or their opponent, a trip to a game here is affordable and a nice way to spend an afternoon.