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Trine plans to open new softball stadium in spring

The generosity of donors has propelled Trine University to hit a home run with a new softball stadium for its champion softball team.

Currently under construction, the stadium will feature a new field, press box, dugouts, batting cages and expanded seating. Completion is projected for March 1.

The new diamond, SportONE/Parkview Softball Field, has been named to recognize lead donors Parkview Ortho Hospital and Drs. Brett F. Gemlick and John C. Pritchard. Gemlick is an orthopedic surgeon and Pritchard is a sports medicine specialist, both are with SportONE, a division of Orthopaedics NorthEast of Fort Wayne.

“Trine is excited to partner with Parkview Foundation and SportONE to provide a top quality softball stadium for our team and spectators,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president. “Our student-athletes work hard on and off the field and Trine is committed to enhancing their collegiate experience.”

“Parkview Ortho and ONE look for many ways the two can support our local students and in this case, we have a great opportunity to support the student-athlete,” said Julie Fleck, COO, Parkview Ortho Hospital. “Like Parkview, Drs. Gemlick and Pritchard are very committed to giving back to the community. As two key members of our Parkview Sports Medicine team, they’re both also passionate about supporting our local student-athletes and they look forward to the day the new stadium is opened and these young women can hit the field.” 

The new complex will also boast a new brick press box, thanks to a commitment from Harold Chevrolet of Angola. The Ben Davis Memorial Press Box is named in honor of the late Ben Davis, who had co-owned the Chevrolet dealership. The press box will also have concessions and restrooms.

Stadium seating will be added to increase the number of seats. In addition, a brick wall will be erected between the dugouts and home plate and new fencing will be installed behind home plate. Additional field drainage is also part of the project.

The stadium will create a better experience for the team and fans. Last spring, throngs of loyal fans were on hand when the Thunder captured the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference and NCAA regional tournament crowns. That success advanced the team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III National Championship in Tyler, Texas. The team also produced two All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans. They have won six regular season titles since 2007 and have been to regionals each of the past eight years. Their season is scheduled to begin in March.