Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Follow the American Nationals Live!

Hey folks! I've been in Canada for the past two days training with the Canadian national team. The tournament starts tomorrow (July 16th). I'm representing USA on the American Nationals. You can follow all the action live at
They will post scores, stats, and play-by-play action! I'll post a recap of the whole experience when I get back.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oh Canada!

On July 13th, I depart for Montreal, Canada to play in the Canadian Invitational International Women's Baseball Tournament, for Team America (official name TBA). I'm psyched! I've also gotten permission to train with the Canadian National Team before the tournament, which will be awesome!!! From what I've heard, Canada has a fantastic girls/women's baseball program with top-notch coaches. They have several baseball leagues for girls, unlike here, where girls are expected to play softball. I'll learn a lot from the coaches there and hope to come back an even better ballplayer. An intense week of baseball awaits!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finally a New Post!

It's been an eternity since I updated my blog. Sorry for the wait! There are so many baseball happenings, I don't even know where to begin. Okay, I'll start with some updates:

The Shoulder: All good! I think I was misdiagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis. It was actually a bunch of work-related trigger points in my shoulder. I still get 'em all over, but it doesn't affect my pitching and I know how to work them out.

The Baltimore Tourney and Men's Senior Baseball League (CNMSBL):

Great people, Great times! The one thing both have in common - heartbreaking end-of-game losses!

My team, the East Coast Yankees went 2-2 in the tournament. The two losses happened at the very end of the game, one in the seventh inning (we play seven inning games), and one in the 10th inning (extra innings). I pitched one complete-game to get the win, earned one save, and batted .375. Despite the losses, it was a great tournament. The Eastern Women's Baseball Conference did a fantastic job as organizers.

In the CNMSBL, my team the River Bandits have had similar end-of-game losses. We have a strong team but have often struggled defensively, losing many games to errors and walks. Our record so far is 1-8. Half of our team are new players including myself, and having had no pre-season practices, I think our manager is just now figuring out where to best utilize his players. With 27 players on the roster, that's no easy task.

As far as my teammates go, I can't say enough positive things about them! They respect me as a ballplayer and pretty much treat me like one of the guys. The dugout is always positive and full of energy. We have the talent, it's just a matter of time before we start stringing together some wins.

One of my goals coming in was to earn a starting position on the team, and I accomplished that as a pitcher. We still have 17 games left before playoffs, so plenty more opportunities for some W's!

Women's Baseball in the Olympics:
Huge strides are happening as we speak to further the development of women's baseball. Whether or not baseball gets into the Olympics is in the hands of the International Olympic Committee, which makes its decision in October. Nevertheless, I am stoked about all the progress that's being made by IBAF to mainstream girls/womens baseball across the globe. They formed a global Women's Baseball Committee to ensure that women's baseball has the growth necessary for nations to compete in the 2016 Olympics. They will also be adding a women's division to the 2013 World Baseball Classic! So, plenty to strive for, both as a player and an advocate!

Baseball Happenings to Come:

Representing USA at another International Tournament:
I'll have another opportunity to represent my country July 16th - 19th at the Canadian Invitational International Tournament! As you know, I played in my first international tournament in Hong Kong this past February and helped the North America Liberty Belles take silver. This time I'm going for gold with a newly formed American team. I'm psyched! Only four teams have been invited to this tournament - America, Japan, and two Canadian National teams. I've never been to Canada before. I'm arriving a couple days early to site-see in Montreal, then it's 7 games of baseball in 4 days!

Chicago Women's Baseball League (CWBL): The local women's league I play in starts June 14th. My team, the Chicago Riveters are the reigning champions, and we hope to defend our title this season. I'm upset about a new rule that the league imposed, which I just found out about. The new rule states that pitchers can only pitch 4 innings a game. With only 11 active players on our roster and no other pitchers on our team, it'll make for some long innings. It concerns me that untrained pitchers are being thrown on the mound in game situations. In the past, this has led to many arm injuries in our league. Proper mechanics are crucial when it comes to pitching and saving arms. Hopefully the rule won't stick. If you're interested in coming to a game, we play at Bedford Park and this is our schedule.

Chicago North Mens Senior Baseball League (CNMSBL):
Still 17 games left, then playoffs for my team, The River Bandits. I really enjoy playing in a men's league. Less drama and a higher level of competition than the women's leagues. We have 14 teams in our division and tons of games. Playing against guys has really improved my pitching. Many of these guys played college ball and even minor league ball. If you miss those corners or make a bad pitch choice, you'll definitely pay for it. The CNMSBL competition level is comparable to national and international women's baseball tournaments, so it's great preparation for all the upcoming tourneys. We play in the northwest suburbs so if you're ever in the area, come out check out a game! Here's our schedule.

Kenosha Diamond Classic:
July 4th weekend, I'll be playing with the Washington Stars at the Kenosha Diamond Classic at Simmons Field in Kenosha, WI.

AWBF Women's National Tournament: October 9-11 I'll be playing with the East Coast Yankees at the AWBF Women's National Tournament at League Stadium in Huntingburg, IN. It's the same stadium that they filmed A League of Their Own in!

Women in Baseball Night: The Schaumburg Flyers, a professional Minor League baseball team is going to have a "Women in Baseball Night" at Alexian Field. Me and the CWBL will be playing an exhibition inning or two at the stadium before the Flyers game. The date is TBA, but I'll be selling tickets for the game, so tune in for updates!

Friday, May 22, 2009


I'm in Baltimore! I'm playing for the East Coast Yankees at the Baltimore-Washington Diamond Invitational women's baseball tournament. You can find our schedule at I'll post updates as the tournament progresses.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Getting Back in the Game

The Baseball Gods must be looking out for me! My first 3 games in the Chicago North Men's Senior Baseball League have been cancelled due to rain, buying me extra recovery time. I haven't thrown a baseball in almost 3-weeks - a personal record I can't say I'm proud of.

I've been doing physical therapy everyday for the past week. Yesterday my PT tested my shoulder for strength. The week before I couldn't keep my arm up at 45 degrees when she pressed down, and this week I could without pain! So I think I'm pretty close to a full recovery. I still have minor pain on the upper part of my shoulder but it comes and goes. I'm going to do some light throwing today and hopefully I'll be able to play in the game Sunday . . . if it doesn't rain.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One Step Forward Two Steps Back

Good and bad stuff happened this week.

The best news is that Donna Lopiano agreed to chair the IBAF Women's Baseball Committee. I've heard awesome things about Donna, and as you can see from her bio, she has the know-how and experience to make things happen. My friends Andre LaChance (Baseball Canada) and Sandra Monteiro (Baseball Portugal) are also on the committee. I couldn't think of better folks for the task that lies ahead.

Fellow blogger Jimmy Scott of Jimmy Scott's High and Tight recently wrote an entertaining blog about Donna, the Committee, and me. His blogs always give me a good laugh. Take a look.

I became a board member of the American Women's Baseball Federation, a non-profit organization that promotes baseball as a mainstream and lifetime opportunity for women in the United States and around the world. We share the same philosophies about the growth of women's baseball, so I look forward to accomplishing great things with the AWBF.

Now the bad: I injured my throwing shoulder a couple weeks ago. It started when I reached down awkwardly to pick up an I-Pass from the floor of my car. I felt a strain in my right shoulder, didn't think much of it and went to practice as usual. I threw great at practice, so great that I never wanted to stop. I kept throwing and throwing and throwing for 2.5 hours. When I got home the pain started and I couldn't lift my arm above my head, yipes!

Historically, I never experience any pain from throwing, never had to ice my arm or anything, so this worried me a bit. I took a couple days off and went at it again. Not good. I took a few more days off and tried again. Still pain. I finally went to a specialist yesterday. Diagnosis: Rotator Cuff Tendinitis. What? Sounds awful but the prognosis is actually pretty good. Some physical therapy and I should be back on the mound within weeks. I'd been throwing hard everyday since June '08 without a break, and now rest and rehab is on the agenda. My men's league starts this week, and I'm on the DL :-(

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Support Women's Baseball for 2016 Olympics!

I started a group on Facebook called "Support Women's Baseball for 2016 Olympics" with the goal of retaining 10,000 members. This will show the International Olympic Committee and MLB that we are serious, and that there IS a market for women's baseball.

Please join this group and spread the word as much as you can, and as globally as you can!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Olympic Update!

In an earlier post I spoke about going to the Sport Accord to help the International Baseball Federation get baseball back in the Olympics. I was there as the women's baseball representative. My ultimate hope was that IBAF would decide to add women's baseball to their proposal for reinstatement. I am thrilled to report that IBAF made the official announcement today - women's baseball will be added! This is a major step forward, but the real work is just beginning. Now IBAF must convince the IOC of baseball's global popularity and work to further develop women's baseball programs worldwide.

You can help the cause, simply by joining the Facebook page: IBAF - Bring Baseball Back in 2016! This decision will provide so many more options for girls who prefer to play baseball over softball, and for women who have been breaking barriers for years, playing baseball in the Olympics is the ultimate dream come true!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Comes to Chicago

The IOC is coming to town! Chicago is one of 4 cities bidding to host the 2016 Olympics. The IOC will spend 6 days inspecting our fair city before visiting Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid. They will announce their final decision on October 2nd. Being the great baseball city that it is, Chicago would be the perfect locale to bring back baseball! They may even become the first city in the world to host Olympic Women's Baseball! Come on IOC members! Vote to reinstate baseball in the 2016 Olympics and bring it right here to my home town, Chicago!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IBAF Tours Prince George - Possible Location for the 2010 Women’s World Cup

Written by Jason Peters, Citizen staff
Monday, 30 March 2009

Prince George may be a few signatures away from hosting the 2010 Women’s World Cup of Baseball.

The city, with the full backing of Baseball Canada, has submitted a bid for the tournament. Recently, Australia’s John Ostermeyer, secretary general for the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), was in town for meetings and a tour and was left with a positive overall impression.

For sports fans, and for the profile of Prince George, that’s good news.
“We have to go through some official protocols, but hopefully we’ll get an announcement in the next couple of weeks,” said Virginia Sprangers, a 2009 World Baseball Challenge committee member who has been working toward bringing the 2010 women’s championship to Prince George.

“There are a couple of things the local hosting committee needs to do. We have to determine the feasibility of hosting this event from a financial perspective, given the economy. But it doesn’t matter where the world event is going to be, there are going to be those struggles and those challenges.”

The idea of hosting the 2010 Women’s World Cup was first raised by Baseball Canada’s Andre Lachance when he was here last June for 2009 World Baseball Challenge meetings. The WBC is July 16-26 and will bring together eight men’s clubs, including the U.S. and Canadian national teams.

Lachance, who lives in Ottawa, was contacted by The Citizen on Monday. He said Baseball Canada will be nudging the IBAF to make its decision as soon as possible.

“We’re going to press them a little bit to make some kind of an announcement as soon as Virginia and her group are ready to go forward,” said Lachance, manager of baseball operations for the national organization and head coach of the Team Canada women. “It’s about 18 months away from that potential event, so the more time we have for (the host committee) to prepare and for us also to prepare, the better. The host country, we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to perform at a high level. We want to do it right.”

Team Canada won a silver medal at the eight-team 2008 World Cup, which was held in Japan. The World Cup was in Chinese Taipei in 2006 and in Edmonton in 2004. If Prince George is successful in landing the 2010 World Cup, it will be played at Citizen Field.

As an added bonus for local fans, Prince George’s Amanda Asay is one of the stars in the Team Canada lineup. All things considered, Lachance regards P.G. as the perfect fit for the tournament.

“I’ve been telling (Ostermeyer) about what great people you guys are and how great you have been in the past,” Lachance said, referring to the highly-successful Baseball Canada Senior Championship of 2002, which was held in Prince George.

“If the host committee can afford it and get the people together to host that event, that would be great. Women’s baseball is growing a lot in Canada. In some provinces it’s now 12 to 15 per cent of the membership, which is awesome. And we have a Prince George player on the national team so it’s a slam dunk. Everything is there for a great event.”

Friday, March 27, 2009

The 2009 Sport Accord

Just wrapped up a 1.5-day stint at the 2009 Sport Accord, a gathering of leading sport officials from around the globe. The talk of the conference was the upcoming Olympic IOC vote, happening in Copenhagen, Denmark on Oct. 2nd. I was representing women in baseball for the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). The goal: to get baseball back in the 2016 Olympics.

I spent the day at the IBAF exhibit booth with former Major League pitchers, Steve Rogers and Rick Helling. It was fun hearing about some of their experiences in the big leagues and talk pitching.

I also had a discussion with IBAF president, Harvey Schiller and Portugese Baseball Federation President, Sandra Monteiro about developing women's baseball around the globe. The next World Baseball Classic is in 2013, and if all goes well, a women's division will be included.

If you haven't yet, be sure to join the facebook group: International Baseball Federation (IBAF) - Bring Back Baseball in 2016! so we can get baseball back in 2016!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Representing Women in Baseball: Getting Women's Baseball in the 2016 Olympics

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) is flying me to Denver this week! I'll be representing women in baseball at the 2009 Sport Accord. Over 2,000 sport officials will be there including many International Olympic Committee members. I'll be meeting with IBAF president Dr. Harvey Schiller to talk about potentially including women's baseball in the IBAF's bid for baseball reinstatement. If you haven't seen it already, read this article: IBAF Considers Women's Baseball. It really got the ball rolling!

I'm so excited about this important opportunity. I've often talked about women's baseball making it into the Olympics, and now it may actually happen! There's so much momentum, now is the time to seize the moment and change the face of women's baseball!

NABA Spring Training Experience - Day 4: The Championship

We won the Championship!!!
Not only did we win, but we blew the Diamondbacks away 21-1! Our pitcher was on fire, smoking fastballs and curves right by the batters. I played the entire game at second base, making some good outs including the final out of the game. I went 1 for 3 with a single, two ground outs, 2 RBIs, and 2 walks.

The other team was kind of cocky so I'm glad we clobbered them. Overall this was a great tournament and I couldn't have asked for a better team to play my first men's tournament with.

I really enjoy playing with guys. They're competitive and they play hard which is how I like to play. Watching my teammates hit out-of-the-park home runs from the dugout was awesome! Each day they went further and further!

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to hit the faster pitching, but I did fine. I found out that I actually do better against faster pitching. I was also worried that I'd get clobbered on the mound, but the other team barely hit me.

I mixed up the speeds a lot to throw them off balance and mentally wore them down. I noticed that very few pitchers at the tournament mixed up speeds very much. This surprised me. I guess guys tend to rely on brute strength. This was a good lesson for me to learn - faster is not necessarily better. The mental aspect and the combination of pitches is just as important, if not more-so. I've been told this many times before and always wanted to believe it were true. I needed to experience it first hand, and now that I have, I have more confidence moving forward.

Me with the team MVP and star pitcher

My catcher! The guy's a rock! He caught all 4 games and nailed a bunch of runners at second and third.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

NABA Spring Training Experience - Day 3

My team, the Indians lost our first game this morning 20-13. We started off great and were up 13-10 at the start of the 6th inning. Our guy Jay even hit a grand slam home run out of the park and Joe followed with a 3-run shot. But our pitchers struggled with control and the majority of the runs given up were on walks. I played the entire game at second base. It was a lot of fun, I turned a double-play and got a few outs. At the plate I grounded out, walked twice and was struck out on a very questionable 3-2 pitch.

We still made the Championships and will have a chance at revenge tomorrow morning when we play the same team, the Diamondbacks. If we can get the pitching under control, we stand a great chance to come out ahead. Wish us luck!

NABA Spring Training Experience - Day 2

What a great day of baseball! I was a little nervous taking the mound today, being my first men's tournament, but all went well. I pitched the entire 7-inning game (it was supposed to go 9, but they surrendered after 7), giving up 3 runs for a final score of 29-3! My team was awesome yet again! Inning after inning we'd score the 5-run limit (the rule for the tournament is a team can only score 5 runs per inning, then switch no matter how many outs there are). As the game went on I got more confident and relaxed and was able to pull off more 1,2,3 innings, with the help of my team of course.

After the game, we went to the Cubs vs. Padres Spring Training game and the Cubs won 5-2, so a great day of baseball overall! At the game, I heard that some players from the other team were talking smack when they found out that I, a girl, was going to be the starting pitcher. They were so frustrated when they couldn't hit off me. I also found out that I turned their pitcher's toe black & blue when I hit a hard grounder up the middle. I felt kinda bad about that one. Later on, players from the opposing team tried to recruit me for their teams in Indiana, so I guess I earned their respect after all :)

My team had my back the whole game. I feel extremely lucky that I was put on a team with such a great group of guys. The president of NABA came to the game to watch me pitch (the first-time a woman pitched in a NABA tournament). He stayed for the whole game and expressed how much he supports women in baseball. I think I made a lot of people aware that women can play baseball just as well as the guys, and that's a big step forward for the growth of women's baseball. Two more games left, stay tuned!