Bay Area women select to play baseball over softball, head to MLB occasion


This weekend, a set of athletes will head to Texas to play baseball. And the San Francisco Bay Area may be nicely represented at MLB Grit, a women-only baseball tournament backed by Major League Baseball.

“I grew up in a Giants cap,” stated Justice Alcantar, 18, who has just started out her fourth and very last season on the University High baseball group. “I’ve played baseball my entire lifestyles.”

The excessive faculty women who are headed to Arlington, Texas, opted to play Little League and Pony League growing up. Many have played for their high schools. Like Justice is now, they’ve often been the best female on their teams. Baseball is the game they pick.

They’ve additionally spent a lifetime having to keep off in opposition to the insistence that they should play softball. That women don’t play hardball. That they gained’t earn a university scholarship this way.

Bay Area women select to play baseball over softball, head to MLB occasion 1

“I’ve heard a lot of, ‘Baseball is for boys, you have to play softball,’” stated Leiyah Tate-Roger, a senior at Ruth Asawa School for the Arts. “I can decide that for myself. I’ve never played softball.”

Annie Jupiter-Jones, the women’s baseball director for San Francisco Youth Baseball, which companions with San Francisco Park and Rec, has three baseball-gambling daughters, inclusive of Justice, her oldest. According to Jupiter-Jones, San Francisco is the most straightforward town with a publicly funded ladies baseball program.

She’s also the manager of the Bay Sox, a ladies travel group founded in 2015. The Bay Sox have played within the Baseball for All event and MLB’s Trailblazers Series.

“These women want to play baseball,” Jupiter-Jones said. “This generation of children has grown up in a baseball metropolis.” Audrey Byrne can attest to that. She’s a catcher, and Buster Posey is her idol. Though the San Francisco resident doesn’t play baseball at Marin Academy — she’s targeted on football — she’s additionally going to Texas this weekend. She plays organized baseball while she can.

“Anytime I get a risk,” she said. “It’s this sort of cool enjoy.” The Giants winning multiple World Series saved Tate-Roger devoted to playing even though the response through others can “be harsh,” particularly while she moves out an opponent.

For the various girls, tournaments like this weekend are an extraordinary opportunity for them to play without the everyday grind of being the most effective girl on a crew.

“Sometimes they want a touchstone,” Jupiter-Jones stated. “Just their illustration is robust.”

Tate-Roger likes seeing such a lot of ladies. She’d additionally like to see other gamers of shade, noting she’s frequently the only African American player — of both genders — on the sector.

This weekend will feature an inspirational audio system, including Kim Ng, MLB’s senior vice chairman for baseball operations, and others who paintings in the game. They want to reveal to these younger women that even though gambling lengthy-term is probably a not going goal, there are other methods to discover a profession in baseball.