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DCGB President on Why Girls Baseball Matters

The USA Women’s National Soccer Team’s fourth World Cup victory reflects both the dominance of these American athletes and the fruits of legal and social policy, rooted in Title IX, to get girls into soccer. When Title IX was passed in 1972, only 700 girls played high school soccer; today, there are over 400,000. Basketball shows a similar jump and the success of the USA Women’s Hockey team is creating more opportunities for girls in hockey.  

But what about America’s pastime? Girls’ baseball programs flourish abroad, but women’s baseball struggles in its American birthplace. Why is baseball the exception?


Two local athletes chosen for MLB-sponsored High School Girls Baseball Invitational

Two D.C.-area ballplayers were among the 64 chosen to participate in the inaugural High School Girls Baseball Invitational, a four-day development camp jointly run by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball next month in Arlington, Tex. and featuring the top high school-age female baseball players in the country.

Paloma Benach of Wilson High and Joanie O’Connell of St. Stephens and St. Agnes were selected from more than 180 applicants to the program, which will run March 7-10 at the Texas Rangers’ Youth Academy and Globe Life Park, the Rangers’ home stadium.

ESPN: A TOURNAMENT OF THEIR OWN

Brittany Apgar loves baseball. Not softball. Baseball.

"I love the competition and the challenge," she says. "Baseball is not just a physical game. It's a mental game too. You have to have a good memory, but if you make a mistake, you have to be able to forget about it and move on to the next inning."

Apgar, 15, was one of the nearly 300 girls, ages 9-18, who converged on Rockford, Illinois, last summer for four days of spirited competition. 

LENNY LETTER: PLAY LIKE A GIRL

The Boston Slammers’ own “Craig Kimbrel” — the Red Sox pitcher with a fastball that tops out at 101 miles per hour — stands on a pitcher’s mound in a local park. The player’s real name is Elise Berger, a stoic athlete with a long, lean build and a face dotted with freckles, the nickname born from a fastball of her own. Her team is playing in the Boston Mayor’s Cup, the biggest youth-baseball tournament in the city, and every one of her pitches blows by the South Boston team’s batters.

WTOP: NATIONAL CHAMPION DC FORCE SPREADING GOSPEL OF GIRLS BASEBALL

PURCELLVILLE, Va. — Did you know that the Women’s Baseball World Cup starts this week? Did you know that the Women’s Baseball World Cup existed before reading that last sentence?

Baseball will return to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, but only for men. There will be softball for women. But all across the country, including here in D.C., the next generation is looking to change that, to get more girls and women involved in not just appreciating, but playing our national pastime.

WASHINGTON BLADE: TRANS COACH BOOSTING VISIBILITY FOR GIRLS’ BASEBALL

Ava Benach signed up her daughter Paloma to play little league baseball when she was five years old. At the time, she made the erroneous assumption that eventually, Paloma would have to switch to softball.

Ava and her wife Mona did sign Paloma up for softball at age 9. Paloma was having none of it. The next year, Paloma participated in an all-girls baseball team sponsored by Baseball for All that won a national tournament in Chino Hills, Calif. It was a boy’s tournament and they were the only girls team.

MASN SPORTS: MASN BRINGS THE BOOTH TO DC GIRLS BASEBALL

Today we’re in Lafayette Park down in northwestern DC and we’re going to check out the DC Force all girls baseball team. They are headed to Rockford, IL for the national championship. Last season the 13U team, they won the national title. It’s going to be exciting to talk to these girls, see their workout today and see what actually inspires them to play baseball. Not softball, baseball. 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: COMING SOON - BASEBALL AMERICANA EXHIBIT FEATURING DC FORCE

Americans had been playing baseball long before they agreed on the rules or even settled on how to spell it. They didn't always call it baseball either—in some places it was known simply as "town ball" or, more generically, "round ball." No matter what form it has taken, baseball—and its close fraternal twin, softball—has endured. But it hasn't stayed the same in anyone's lifetime. 

YAHOO! SPORTS: ALL-GIRLS BASEBALL TEAMS FIND A FUTURE OF THEIR OWN AT NATIONAL TOURNAMENT

ROCKFORD, Ill. — It was 6:30 p.m., but the sun was still hot and bright. A crowd had gathered at Rockford’s Beyer Stadium, waiting for something to start as familiar baseball diamond dust swirled in the air.

A sudden cheer rose up from the far side of the field and the parade began.

Holding team banners and homemade signs with slogans like “GIRL POWER,” 200 baseball-playing girls began marching around the field, trodding on the baselines of history.

WASHINGTON POST: THE DEFIANT GIRLS WHO REFUSE TO PLAY SOFTBALL INSTEAD OF BASEBALL, AND WHY THEY ROCK

Move over, boys of summer.

The girls are here.

And thanks, but no thanks. They’re not interested in softball. They’re baseball players.

“I watched a middle school softball game once, and it was just so slow,” said Tess Usher, 11, who plays first base for D.C. Force, the all-girls baseball team that just killed it at a national tournament. “I love playing baseball. That’s not going to change.”

CBS NEWS: BASEBALL FOR ALL: LARGEST ALL-FEMALE BASEBALL TOURNAMENT IN U.S. HISTORY

At Beyer Stadium, in Rockford, Illinois, sports history is being made. Two hundred girls, aged 7 to 17, have come here for the largest girls-only baseball tournament in U.S. history, reports CBS News' Jericka Duncan.

Seventeen teams from the U.S. and Canada traveled to Rockford to play on a field that holds a special place in the history of women's baseball: the home of the Rockford Peaches, the all-female professional team made famous by the movie "A League of Their Own."

KOJO NNAMDI SHOW: D.C. GIRLS PLAY BASEBALL ON A TEAM OF THEIR OWN

Local girls who want to play baseball have long been able to participate in D.C.’s little league teams. But while many young girls have signed up to play on co-ed teams, many of them don’t stick with the sport the way boys do in puberty and through high school. A new team just for girls provides a safe space for them to work on their skills, beat the boys and envision a future as players. Kojo sits down with the coach of DC Force and two players from the team.

WASHINGTON POST: TRANSGENDER COACH OF ALL-GIRLS BASEBALL TEAM KNOWS ABOUT BREAKING GENDER BARRIERS

The four baseball players sprinting between first and second base were covered in red dirt and sweat. Even their ponytails were damp and sticky.

“Look, girls, it’s important you’re giving 100 percent,” said Coach Ava Benach, who at 6-foot-3 towered over the young athletes. “You don’t turn your head to look at what others are doing. You just go.”