Ghazaleh SailorsIn case you haven't heard it a million times already, I'm going to say it again. Supposedly girls can't play baseball. Girls play softball. Conventional wisdom -- and just about every high school and college in the country -- says so. Even the Olympics, the pinnacle of amateur athletics, relegates those of us with boobs and a uterus to seven innings and the underhand throw. Thank goodness some girls just don't listen.
Ghazaleh Sailors and Marti Sementelli aren't softball players. They're girls who got up on the regulation mound on a regulation baseball diamond a few weeks ago in California. Sementelli pitched a five-hitter complete game, leading her team to a 6-1 victory. Sailors pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed three hits and three runs.
But their stats wouldn't have mattered in the long run. What matters is that they showed up and played. Because that game represented the first time ever that two female starting pitchers met in a varsity high school baseball game. Who says girls can't play baseball? They just did.
So can someone explain to me why high schools, colleges, and the world of professional sports can't get what two high school girls can? I mean besides the whole "ewwww, girls have cooties" thing, can someone explain to me why girls can't play baseball? Even on their own teams?
We have, after all, girls' soccer teams and boys' soccer teams, girls' basketball teams and boys' basketball teams, girls' cross country teams and boys' cross country teams ...
I was confused, so I looked at the fundamentals of the game:
A softball is technically bigger than a baseball, so it can't be about us little weak-armed women with our itty bitty hands. And the softball team at my high school always played on the same diamond as the boys, so I'm guessing it wasn't about how the ladies with the itty bitty legs needed shorter distances between the bases, lest their legs gave out. And of course there's the speed of the pitch. Because a baseball player throws overhand, a softball player throws underhand. But Marti Sementelli seemed to do just fine overhand. Ghazaleh Sailors too.
Still confused, I asked my husband and fellow baseball fan (and father of our daughter, ahem), and he shrugged. "A softball is bigger" was all he could come up with. "Because it's easier to see, it's easier to hit?"
Eureka! Girls' eyesight must get worse as they age. Because we can hit that baseball in our Little League days, but by 12, 13, our eyes develop a magical blindness to leather with a 9- to 9.25-inch circumference as it goes across the plate. Good thing those girls were pitchers.
All jokes aside, it seems like we're finally getting somewhere ladies. Last month Justine Siegal became the first woman to pitch in the Major Leagues. Now we have high school baseball teams with female starting pitchers. One day the rest of the world will get the picture.
Girls can play baseball. The question is why people still don't believe us.
Image via YouTube