Southern Illinois University's Charlotte West Stadium was completed in 2003, and has quickly earned a reputation as one of the finest softball facilities in the country, as well as being a tough venue for opponents.
Since its opening on March 1, 2003, the Salukis have recorded a .745 winning percentage in their home facility.
The stadium is named for Dr. Charlotte West, who retired as SIU's associate athletics director in 1998 after serving the University for 42 years as a faculty member, coach and administrator.
She began her faculty career at SIU in 1957 as an instructor in the department of physical education. She became a full professor in 1973 and developed SIU's graduate program in sport management, which she directed until June 1991.
From 1960 until 1986, West was director of intercollegiate athletics for women. She helped transform the department from its meager beginnings into a nationally-recognized program with a budget of more than $1 million for 11 sports.
After the 1986 merger of the men's and women's athletics departments, West served as associate athletics director for one year, interim director for a year and associate athletics director for 10 years.
The $1.7 million stadium was officially opened on March 15, 2003 with a 9-0 win over Bradley, in front of a crowd of 395 fans. On April 30, 2016, Southern Illinois dedicated the field to Hall-of-Fame coach Kay Brechtelsbauer. Coach B won 633 games in 32 seasons as the head coach of Saluki Softball. She retired after the 1999 season with the most overall and MVC wins in conference history. As of 2016, Brechtelsbauer remains the fourth-winningest coach in Missouri Valley Conference history. SIU recorded the first win at Kay Brechtelsbauer Field on April 30, 2016, an 8-0 (5) win over Northern Iowa. The win was also the 200th win at Charlotte West Stadium.
Charlotte West Stadium has served as the host of the MVC Softball Championship four times (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016). It also played host to the NCAA Regionals in 2007.
The state-of-the-art facility holds 502 fans and is one of the finest in the Midwest.
The stadium features chair back and bleacher seating, a concession area, rest rooms, lights, large dugouts, a training room, full-size lockers in a carpeted locker room, a large electronic scoreboard, coaches' office, two batting cages, an irrigation system and a spacious, elevated press box with phone and ethernet connections.
The Stadium field consists of a four-way sports turf mix outfield with a Bermuda/rye mix primary and Crimson Stone Ultimate Series Infield, which is illuminated by a top-of-the-line lighting system for night games.