In July 2017, DC Girls Baseball took 24 girls to Rockford, Illinois, home of the Rockford Peaches, made famous by the classic film, a League of their Own, to compete in the third annual National Girls Baseball Championship run by Baseball for All. Competing as the DC Force in the 13U and 11U ager groups, the older girls (“Big Force”) took home the gold and the younger girls (“Little Force”) had a respectable middle of the pack showing which they will surely build upon.
Big Force romped through the competition going 5-0 to win the 13U championship. The Force was led by Paloma Benach, who batted a ridiculous .737 during the tourney and was on the mound for the final out. Lefty pitchers Britt Apgar, Jordan Eyster and Rebekah Camp kept the hitters off balance while righties Elena Houghton and Anya Bergfeld blazed fastballs past batters. Managing that pitching staff were trusty catchers Kiki Crowley and Gabi Yulo. Sparkling defense from Oliva Csedrik at shortstop and Maggie Rocchio in the outfield kept baserunners to a minimum. Daphnie Kadish launched a ball over the centerfield wall to take the lead in the championship game and timely hitting and a good eye by Katy Whipple kept opposing pitchers off balance.
Little Force was never out of any game. They ended the tournament in fourth place after dropping a couple of heartbreaking one-run games. Coaches Jen Hammond and Codi Dudley used the full roster in a series of crazy games that featured inside the park home runs, bunt home runs, cheering for the Canadian team in English and French, and unparalleled eye black and sock combinations. Little Force has stayed together and played in another tournament in Maryland in October, where they went 1-1, winning one game 17-1 and losing the other in a last inning walk-off.
DCGB was honored to serve as ambassadors for girls’ baseball at the tournament and was thrilled to spend time with All-American Girls Professional Baseball League legends like Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich. We are looking forward to return to Rockford in the summer of 2018 to defend one title and earn another.