First-ever women’s club baseball team at the University of Washington empowers players
The ultimate goal is to make sport more accessible for girls and women at every stage of their sporting careers. #k5evening
SEATTLE — Sunday is often a day off, but pioneers don’t sleep late.
Each week, the University of Washington Women’s Club baseball team meets early in the morning at Go Time Athletics in West Seattle to practice.
“It feels good physically, but it also feels good to be doing something with a community of girls who all care about the same thing as you do, and I think that’s really encouraging,” said team captain Riley Mehl. “When my alarm goes off at 7am it’s the only thing that honestly keeps me going, seeing everyone here and growing this community is awesome.”
It’s the first team of its kind in the country and one of only a handful in existence. Maggie Gallagher is the trainer.
“I’ve always been very interested in baseball and brought myself into baseball, so why not lead other women into the sport?” She said.
Gallagher’s love of the game began early, and she played hardball through eighth grade. Then she was told that baseball was for boys – so she switched to softball.
After high school, she received a scholarship to UW and appeared in two College World Series.
But baseball stayed in her heart, and after leaving the softball team to focus more on school, she looked for another option. Gallagher joined the university’s only club baseball team, and she stood out.
“I was the only woman on the team,” she says, smiling.
Forming a women’s club team seemed the next logical step and was launched under the guidance of the national non-profit organization Baseball For All.
Players like flour are grateful. She was an elite softball player in high school and missed attending college. Joining the baseball team was an outlet with added meaning.
“I was just super excited to not only get back to doing something I love, but also to make a statement and create opportunity and choice for women, so all round it was a really great opportunity,” she said.
Go Time Athletics owner Mark Terau recognizes the impact and potential of the team. He provides the practice area in his training hall free of charge.
“This is another sport (women) where they can try to get their playing experience and why not?” he said. “I think it’s important that everyone has the opportunity to do what they dream of doing, whatever sport they want to play.”
Gallagher’s ultimate dream is to create women’s college baseball teams. Until then, regardless of her record, she sees the club team as a win. So do their players.
“Anything you want to do, you can do and you should do it,” Mehl said.
Last year the team won the Women’s College Club Baseball National Championship and they will defend their title this week in California.
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https://www.king5.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/evening/first-ever-womens-club-baseball-team-university-of-washington/281-f31e4c5f-1f22-4c2e-b1da-5d3ad1195d18 First-ever women’s club baseball team at the University of Washington empowers players