March 17, 2010

Stadium Dedication, Champions Day on Saturday

DAHLONEGA, GA – The stadium that is home to nation’s No. 1 team in the friendly confines of Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium will be dedicated on Saturday afternoon as the Saints battle 12th-ranked Augusta State University in a key Peach Belt Conference doubleheader.

Saturday’s games will also serve as “Champions Day” as former players are encouraged to attend the game and be recognized for their commitment and support for the North Georgia softball program. Former players can fill out the alumni form by clicking here.

The Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium, nicknamed "The Hill," was completed last year, thanks to the couple's gift through the university's Foundation.

"We just have a love of North Georgia and we thought because of all the benefits we've had from the association that we'd help out the school" Haines Hill said. "We've had so much success, and it all keeps coming back to North Georgia as the reason for that."

The Hills attended North Georgia in the 1950s, but they aren't the only North Georgia alumni in the family. Daughter Jeri, son Keith, and two of the Hills' four grandchildren all graduated from North Georgia.

Haines began working for the university the day after his retirement from the military and spent 10 years working in various roles, including serving as the commandant of cadets and professor of military science. He also served as mayor of Dahlonega from 1986-90 and again from 1996-00.

The Hills are members of the Saints Club and support fundraisers for the athletic department. Carolyn previously has coached summer league softball in the Alexandria, Va., area. The Hills currently reside in Gainesville.

The stadium includes 225 chair-back seats, three press boxes and a state-of-the art scoreboard. Last year's NCAA Southeast Regional and Super Regional games were held at the stadium, with a record single-game attendance of 432.

Additional gifts to the stadium also are encouraged through the "Donate a Seat" program. For a $500 donation per seat, a plaque inscribed with the donor's name, the name of their company, or in honor of or memory of another person is placed on the seat.

A short dedication ceremony will begin March 20 at 1:45 p.m. at the softball stadium. The lot beside the stadium will be reserved for VIP parking, so those attending the dedication and game are advised to arrive by 1:30 p.m. There is no charge to attend the dedication or the games following the ceremony.

The softball stadium is part of the new Athletics Complex off Morrison Moore Parkway. The complex also features a new baseball facility, the 500-seat Bob Stein Stadium, which will be dedicated on April 25.