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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Breaking the Grass Ceiling: More Women Are Playing College Baseball Than Ever Before

Kaplan was cut again, but she didn’t give up on the game she has loved since she started playing at 5 years old. After graduating from high school last spring and playing summer ball, Kaplan enrolled at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md. She showed up at fall baseball workouts and made an immediate impression on the school’s new head coach. This spring, Kaplan made the Riverhawks baseball roster, becoming the only woman to pitch in the National Junior College Athletic Association. While facing top Division I NCAA prospects, the lefthander struck out 11 batters in 11 2/3 innings of work in her first season. Her coaches and teammates welcomed her.

“I knew a few guys on the college team already from playing with them or against them throughout the years,” Kaplan says. “The ones who had no idea who I was, once they saw me hit and pitch for the first time they were like, ‘O.K. She’s good. That’s all I need to know.’ They’ve all been great to me and have been very supportive.”

Kaplan, one of a handful of women playing baseball at the collegiate level, is part of a select but growing group that also includes Kelliann Jenkins, a pitcher for Chatham University in Pittsburgh; Jazzmine Rivera, a pitcher for Harry S. Truman College in Chicago; Marika Lyszczyk, a catcher and pitcher for Rivier University in Nashua, N.H.; Beth Greenwood, a catcher for the University of Rochester; and Luisa Gauci, a second baseman who has signed a letter of intent to play for Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash. Each of them is the only woman on their respective college teams—as they often were on teams at every level. They’ve followed similar paths through the baseball ranks, and have grown accustomed to standing out and being scrutinized.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2021 at 11:02 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college baseball, women in baseball

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