LA GRANDE, Ore. – Just in time for winter, it’s time to begin thinking of spring. After a 13-year hiatus, Eastern Oregon University’s legendary baseball program is returning to campus, along with a brand-new women’s lacrosse program.
EOU lobbied with Oregon’s other regional universities for additional Sports Lottery funding from the state legislature to support student athletes in the 2019-21 biennium. The funding is dedicated to support increased athletic scholarships, graduate assistantships and athletic programs.
EOU anticipates the programs will eventually add 60 to 70 additional students to the on-campus population.
EOU baseball has a long and storied history with teams starting in the 1930s just after the school was founded. Due to budget reductions, the program was cut in 2006.
Lacrosse, one of the country’s fastest growing high school sports, will make use of Community Stadium for its games in the spring. An emerging sport in the West, several institutions in the Cascade Collegiate Conference have lacrosse club teams and are considering adding the sport.
“We’re excited to add two sports to our spring season when we have capacity in our facilities and administrative resources,” EOU Athletic Director Anji Weissenfluh said.
EOU President Insko thanked alumni and former student athletes, as well as Weissenfluh, EOU staff and the students and trustees who traveled to the state capitol last spring to meet with legislators.
“At the end of the day, there is a real value to legislators increasing long-term investment in higher education,” Insko said. “... we are embracing our role as Oregon’s Rural University and the economic, cultural and educational engine of this region.”