“We’re excited to have this great new facility for such an accomplished team and think the fans will enjoy it as well. Our donors deserve accolades for making the new stadium possible."
Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president
Dedication is part of DIII Week activities
Trine University will honor generous donors and celebrate one of its outstanding teams during next month’s dedication of a new sports facility. The dedication and cookout that follows are just some of the activities scheduled during Trine's NCAA Division III Week, which is part of a national celebration.
The SportONE/Parkview Softball Field and the Ben Davis Memorial Press Box dedication will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. Everyone is invited to attend the free event, a cookout at 2:30 p.m. with free hot dogs and refreshments, and a softball doubleheader that begins at 3:30 p.m.
“We’re excited to have this great new facility for such an accomplished team and think the fans will enjoy it as well,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president. “Our donors deserve accolades for making the new stadium possible.”
Trine trustee Jerry Allen and his wife, Jorja, Trine alumni, were lead donors for the project. And, thanks to a partnership with the Parkview Foundation and SportONE, the stadium features a new field, dugouts and batting cages along with expanded seating. It is named to recognize 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. Dr. Gemlick will throw out the first pitch when the Thunder takes on Calvin in a doubleheader.
A commitment from Harold Chevrolet of Angola memorializes the late Ben Davis, former co-owner of the Chevrolet dealership, with a new brick press box complete with concessions and restrooms.
In addition to stadium seating, the new diamond also boasts a brick wall between the dugouts and home plate and new fencing behind home plate. Additional field drainage was also part of the project.
The stadium was designed to create a better experience for the team and fans. The team is ranked No. 8 in the nation and boasts a 16-1 record.
Last spring, many loyal fans were in attendance when the Thunder captured the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference and National Collegiate Athletic Association regional tournament crowns. That success advanced the team to the NCAA Division III National Championship in Tyler, Texas. The team also produced two All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans. The softball team has won six regular season titles since 2007 and has been to regionals each of the past eight years.
Everyone is welcome to attend the dedication and free cookout. As part of the festivities, a campus cookout will begin at 2:30 p.m. between the softball and baseball fields. Free hot dogs and refreshments will be served and T-shirts will also be given away during the event.
That same day, the Thunder baseball team hosts Illinois Tech in a doubleheader that begins at 4 p.m. at Jannen Field.
NCAA DIII week, April 6 to 12, celebrates Division III athletics, the level at which Trine competes. The week observes the effect of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community.