A six-time National Field of the Year award winner, Patricia Wilson Field is the beautiful home of the Stetson Hatters softball team.
Located on the Stetson University campus near the corner of Garfield and Arizona, the complex features a game field and stadium, batting cages and practice area, and a team fieldhouse facility.
The game field features a clay playing surface, an outfield with Bermuda grass, irrigation, four bullpens, spacious dugouts, and a lighting system suitable for televising night games. A huge state-of-the art scoreboard and video board was installed in 2011, and a new sound system was added in 2012.
A two-story press box contains a working suite for staff and media, a VIP suite for entertaining guests, and a broadcast booth for the play-by-play announcer and video production. Directly below the press box is the reserved seating section with over 100 premium chairback seats. Other fan-friendly stadium features include general admission seating in close proximity to home plate, restrooms, a concession stand and picnic area, and bleachers beyond the left field foul pole.
Student-athletes can practice and prepare for games in the spacious warm-up area, which contains numerous hitting stations and two full size batting cages.
Located in the southeast corner of the complex is the team fieldhouse. A jewel in of itself, the building houses the Hatters locker room, a training room, a large team meeting room, a laundry room, and the coaches' offices.
The Hatters have enjoyed great success since Patricia Wilson Field opened in 2003, posting a .692 winning percentage through the first 10 seasons.
The care and dedication shown by head coach Frank Griffin, head maintenance technician Steve Barnard, former head maintenance technician George Marshall as well as associate head coach Vanessa Bataille and assistant coach J.J. Payette in maintaining Patricia Wilson Field never goes unnoticed by the Hatters, their fans or visiting fans.
In addition, Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA), the pre-eminent professional sports turf organization in the nation has recognized Patricia Wilson Field with National College Softball Field of the Year awards in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has also named the facility its Field of the Year in 2004 and 2007.
The Stetson University Board of Trustees named the on-campus softball complex "Patricia Wilson Field" to honor the alumna's long-standing support of the Stetson Athletic Department.
Patricia Maxcy Wilson, a 1947 Stetson University graduate, and her husband Pat Wilson '49 have donated one million dollars to name a newly built residence hall on campus. With the softball field at the time nearing its final stages of completion, it was decided that half of that donation would be used to name the field as well. The Wilsons are devoted supporters of Stetson Athletics, making the initial gift of $750,000 for the Wilson Athletic Center in the 1990s and give annually for women's athletic scholarships.
After years of hard work and fundraising, the Hatters began 2002 fall practice on the new on-campus home field and played their inaugural games on the field during the February 15, 2003 Grand Opening.
While much of the facility's construction was contracted out, University staff completed several of its unique features and is involved in constant upkeep of the grounds. Coach Griffin and his staff built the backstop, dugouts, bullpens, and batting cages, as well as the lockers and trophy case in the fieldhouse.
The Stetson staff enjoys the field's positive characteristics such as easy maintenance and quick drainage following heavy rains. The consistency of the infield and outfield material also results in a safer playing surface for the athletes. Griffin believes the combination of these qualities significantly improves Stetson's ability to recruit exceptional student-athletes.
The project was many years in the making and Griffin commended the University for ensuring that a quality field be built. Estimated at over one million dollars, the completely donor-funded facility was the result of the generosity of more than 600 individuals and businesses.
The opportunity remains for a donor to have the softball complex named in his or her honor. Other donors have purchased bricks from Stetson softball that surround the area outside the backstop to be personalized by engraving to support the program.
"Having this quality of a facility has afforded us the opportunity to attract a number of high caliber programs to play here," said Griffin. "It is great for our program to be able to play nationally recognized teams at home without the travel expense or inconvenience of players missing classes."
Stetson won its first 18 consecutive home games when Patricia Wilson opened in 2003. The Hatters went 27-3 at home that year, and then went 29-5 at home in 2004. The Hatters set a school-record with 35 home wins in 2006, and in May 2007, Stetson claimed its first Atlantic Sun tournament championship and automatic bid to its first NCAA Tournament at Patricia Wilson Field.
Patricia Wilson Field was the host site of the 2007-2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Softball Championships.
Stetson Year-By-Year at Patricia Wilson Field:
|.900||won 1st 18 games|
|.853||won 1st 16 games and 20 straight overall|
|.833||won last 14 games|
|.714||hosted / won A-Sun Championship|
|.708||hosted A-Sun Championship|
|.500||hosted A-Sun Championship|
|.652||6 walk-off wins / hosted A-Sun Championship|
|.694||32 home runs hit|
Miscellaneous PWF Records:
Longest Win Streak: 20 (2003-04)
Longest Win Streak (single-season): 18 (2003, 2006)
Longest Game: 11 innings vs. Gardner-Webb (May 11, 2007)
Most Runs (Game): 17 vs. Bethune-Cookman (Feb. 18, 2011)
Largest Crowd: 971 vs. Alabama (Feb. 20, 2010)