Stetson University and Tomball (Texas) ISD have been named the college/university and high school winners, respectively in the NFCA/Turface Field Maintenance awards program for the 2004 season.
Stetson coach Frank Griffin and Tomball head coach Benita Dunlavy will receive their awards at the 2004 NFCA National Convention, being held December 3-6 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
A consistent award-winner, Stetson’s Griffin continues to complete projects and manicure the pristine playing surface to keep the complex in top form.
Within the last year Stetson has installed state of the art lighting. A restroom, concession and picnic area was also completed. Also installed was an Astroturf hitting stations to help practice run more smoothly. They have recently added a new infield top dressing to improve drainage and ensure that games would not be rained out.
The facility is two years old and approximately 30 games were played on it last year. The field also endures the wear and tear from numerous camps that are held for area youth throughout the month of June.
One of the top high school facilities in the state of Texas, the Tomball ISD Softball Field was constructed on a sand base. The finfield dirt zones were initially constructed using a blended infield mix. After completing a soil test, it was determined that the blend had an incorrect sand to clay ratio, causing wet field conditions and poor drainage. In response to the problem, the infield mix was amended with soil conditioners over the course of the season.
The school also added a 120’ x 120’ tarp that has also been a tremendous aid in keeping the playing surface dry.
Tomball is the first school district in the state to use nematodes on the softball field for mole cricket control.
In 2004, the school used an application of Nematac, and the results will be assessed during the upcoming season.
Four other facilities were also honored as regional winners.
United States Mililtary Academy
The United States Military Academy’s newest athletic venue, the Army Softball Complex, was built in 2002 with a scenic view of the Hudson River in the backdrop.
The complex includes a 500-seat grandstand with a fully-equipped press box, dugouts, two bullpens, batting cages and a state-of-the-art electronic scoreboard.
The field measures 200 feet down the lines and 210 feet to center field. The root zone is constructed of 95.9% sand, 4.10 percent soil and is amended with Turface Profile. A four-way Kentucky bluegrass mix outfield and infield beam clay amended with 25 percent Turface MVP complete the infield.
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Charlotte West Stadium/Rochman Field was dedicated Mar. 1, 2002. The $1.7 million facility has two full-size batting cages, and a clubhouse containing a training room, umpire locker room, team locker room and offices. The facility seats 500 with a combination of bleacher and chairback seating.
Rochman Field features a Four Way Sports Turf mix outfield with a Kentucky bluegrass primary and Cimson Ston Ultimate Series infield, inlluminated by a sports lighting system for night games. The entire field is watered using an electronically-controlled Rain Bird irrigation system.
Texas A&M University
The Texas A&M Softball Complex opened in 1994 as a home for the nationally-prominent Aggie softball team. The stadium features raised seating for 1,750 fans. It also features an enclosed press box, sunken dugouts, four batting cages and two bullpens.
The complex features a Tifway 419 Bermuda outfield. The Fightin’ Texas A&M Field Crew maintains the outfield with different mowing designs each game. The infield is carefully manicured for each home date just the way the players like it.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Jim Frost Stadium opened in 1998. The stadium seats 2,500 with a capacity overflow of 4,000 with outfield seating. Frost Stadium also includes a press box with a camera deck on top. Also included in the seating capacity is a pair of luxury boxes on each side of the press box. The playing area includes two in-ground dugouts with a batting cage and bullpen located behind each dugout.
The playing surface is composed of clay-based material. The outfield is composed of a 419 Bermuda in the spring and summer months before changing over to Perennial Rye for the fall and winter.