Thursday, May 24, 2012
There are plenty of things to see in today's game of baseball, but one thing you've probably never seen is a team of girls...that is, unless you've been watching Masters City Little League games this spring.
The league has the all-girl White Sox, though there's nothing white about those socks.
In fact, everything is pink. The helmets, bags, socks and jerseys are all pink, and that's just the way they like it.
"We get to wear pink shirts, and we have funky socks. No other team has pink shirts, and they don't wear polka dots," said White Sox player Kaylee Osment.
Of course, pink shirts and polka dots aren't the only thing that sets these girls apart.
Head Coach Ashleigh Phillips said, "They were originally supposed to play softball, but they didn't have enough teams for the girls so the girls decided they still wanted to play, so they decided to form a baseball team."
It's the first all-girls baseball team in Masters City history. Don't think these girls are intimidated though.
Player Mackenzie Lewis said, "When the boys see us, they think that we can play real good, but sometimes when we beat 'em, it's cool."
These girls aren't just playing. They've won a game this year, and their coach thinks that has them on everyone's radar.
Phillips said, "Once we won a game against all boys, they started bringing it out, bringing their good pitchers out, so they're scared now."
The girls are playing against a lot of their classmates, so it's made plenty of room for new boy-girl rivalries both at school and on the diamond.
"Before we start class in the morning, they always say, 'We're going to beat you today at the game," Lewis said.
Player Mackenzie Myers added, "They always say that they're going to win, and I just ignore them because you never know if you're going to win or not."
Most of the girls hadn't played softball before so there wasn't a transition period, but that wasn't true across the board.
Myers has been a pitcher on both diamonds and changing from one to the other wasn't easy.
"It's different in pitching. In softball, you have to wind your arm up, then pitch. In baseball, it's a whole different stage of pitching."
Regardless of the ribbing from classmates or the transition from one game to another, this group has blazed its trail in bright pink, and that's something that won't go away.
Osment said, "It was like the first time in the history of Masters City for there to be an all girls baseball team instead of softball so it was really exciting for me."
Phillips added, "Maybe it'll continue, maybe it won't, but if it doesn't they can at least say, 'We were in a baseball league with all boys. That's all we played."
So, the girls started because they had little other choice, but now many of them have taken to america's pastime, saying they'd rather keep playing baseball than switch to softball.