LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Seven programs were honored as 2022 Netting Professionals / NFCA Fields of the Year, the Association announced on Friday afternoon.
Earning recognition in 2022 are Bogle Park (University of Arkansas/DI), Gerry Pinkston Stadium (University of Central Oklahoma/DII), Tom & Betty Broyles Field at Townebank Park (Virginia Wesleyan University/DIII), Morgan Stadium at Tucker Field (Freed-Hardeman University/NAIA), Titan Softball Complex (Eastern Florida State College/NJCAA), Viking Field (West Valley College/Cal JC) and F&M Bank Stadium (Piedmont High School).
This award, made possible by NFCA Official Sponsor Netting Professionals, recognizes top fields/stadiums in the nation for their flawless grounds maintenance and exceptional playing surfaces. These locations are selected by the NFCA Awards Committee for NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Cal JC, NWAC, and High School.
The winners were nominated by NFCA member coaches and selected by a panel of their peers on the NFCA Awards Committee. They will be recognized on Dec. 10 during the NFCA Convention's annual Awards Brunch.
NCAA Division I: Bogle Park – University of Arkansas
Head Coach – Courtney Deifel
Bogle Park, which has a capacity of 3,200, features 1,200 chairbacks, six modern skyboxes and an outfield berm where fans can enjoy the game, while also grilling amongst friends. Prior to the 2016 season, the 10,000 square-foot indoor practice and hitting facility was upgraded to turf and a 13HD pixel videoboard (43x13 ft) was installed. Additionally, Bogle Park has four outdoor cages, four outdoor bullpens, dugout to dugout netting and full padded walls. The press box houses a state-of-the art media area, providing space for home & visitor broadcasts, home and visitor sports information and game operations. In 2021, Bogle Park hosted 31,602 fans, the third-highest total in Division I and a year later saw nine of its 10 largest crowds.
NCAA Division II: Gerry Pinkston Stadium – University of Central Oklahoma
Head Coach – Cody White
Renamed Gerry Pinkston Stadium after the legendary UCO coach and NFCA Hall of Famer, the facility received $3.4 million dollars in renovations before the 2017 season, which included new scoreboard, dugouts, four spacious batting cages, press box (separate radio booth), top-notch locker rooms with players’ lounge and clubhouse and coaches offices. A year later, a new fence and four stadium lights were installed. It also features top-of-the-line field turf (2016) with 500-capacity stadium-style bleachers perched above the field and creates an intimate setting for top-level softball.
NCAA Division III: Tom & Betty Broyles Field at Townebank Park – Virginia Wesleyan University
Head Coach – Brandon Elliott
A full renovation of the facility took place over the winter of 2018-19. It included upgrades to the playing surface and the amenities, including new backstop netting and fencing throughout the facility (includes 30-foot home run netting). It features stepdown dugouts with cedar-finished walls, three turfed batting cages and six turfed pitching lanes, along with new grandstands, press box and state-of-the-art scoreboard. Maintained by Kent Brown, Nathan Boudreaux and Javier Delgado, the infield is clay/sand mix and the outfield is bermuda.
NAIA: Morgan Stadium at Tucker Field – Freed-Hardeman University
Head Coach – Todd Humphry
Constructed in 1991, Morgan Stadium at Tucker Field is a mix of turface and red clay infield and a hybrid Bermuda with overseed of rye grass. Maintained by head coach Todd Humphry and assistant coach Kaylyn Graham, the most recent additions are a brand-new scoreboard, field house with locker room, training room, team room, officials room and offices. It also features an indoor turfed room for live hitting as well as two outdoor cages, a press box and the ability of a five-camera setup for live streaming games.
NJCAA: Titan Softball Complex – Eastern Florida State College
Head Coach – Shelby Petik
One of the top two-year facilities in Florida, construction was completed for Titan Softball Complex in 2017. It features wrapped netting that spans behind home plate and both dugouts, home & bullpens, an air-conditioned press box (wired for television & streaming), sound system, dugouts with electrical stations and bathrooms, along with a state-of-the-art clubhouse and locker room. Additionally, ground is being broken for new batting cages that will be complete for the 2023 season.
Cal JC: Viking Field – West Valley College
Head Coach – Vicky Platt
Constructed in 1975, Viking Field saw major renovations completed in January of 2022. The facility features new home and visitor team rooms, coaches offices, a turf infield and outfield, press box with broadcasting capabilities, marquee scoreboard, home and away bullpens, raised bleachers with chairback seating. Additionally, there are seven fully-covered batting cages with retractable netting and a full practice dirt infield.
High School: F&M Bank Stadium - Piedmont High School (Okla.)
Head Coach: Keith Coleman
F&M Bank Stadium was opened in September of 2021 and it is one of the top high school facilities in Oklahoma. It features an LED scoreboard and jumbotron, state-of-art sound system, large dugouts, bullpens (home & visitor), and high-quality netting that makes for easy viewing by fans. It also has a coach's office, locker room and equipment room, which are all connect to the home dugout. The fully turf playing surface has hosted NJCAA Region and Division II (Central Oklahoma) tournaments, an Oklahoma City college prospect camp and a Division I fall game (North Texas).
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaching awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from webinars to legal counsel, to in-person events and the National Convention.