Women’s baseball league steps up to the plate
IT’S GAME on for women’s baseball in the Geelong region, with the first two rounds of the Western Victorian Women’s Baseball League done and dusted.
The opening round at Wallington on April 18 saw four teams – Bellarine Bears, Surf Coast Sharks and two teams from the Alfredton Eagles – take part, with Corangamite federal member Libby Coker throwing out the first pitch and officially opening the season.
Mark Lazarus from the Bellarine Bears said the baseball was competitive but the players (both new and experienced) all enjoyed a sport that is fun and inclusive.
The competition has already expanded by two, with the Bears and Sharks each committing another team to the league within a week of the first game.
Round 2 was held in Ballarat on Sunday, and round 3 will be held at the Geelong Baseball Centre on May 16.
Lazarus said it was a huge achievement to establish a women’s baseball league in western Victoria.
“Before 2017, the Bears had between one and three women playing baseball,” he said.
“2017 saw just two, but a decision was made by the club to get a women’s team together for 2018.
“The club reached out to softballers, friends and wives of current players, a lot of whom had never played before.
“Moving from just two players to about 12 in 2018, the Bears entered the first women’s team into the Geelong Baseball Winter Comp.
“This was competing mainly against men and while it was a tough season on the scoreboard, everyone was having fun.”
He said the Bears’ 2019 squad comprised both new and existing members, with the team honing their skills, playing competitive baseball and picking up multiple wins during the season.
“For 2020, the Bears had two women’s teams ready to play and the club, along with Alfredton Baseball Club in Ballarat, started pushing for a women’s league,” Lazarus said.
“It was a great disappointment when the season was cancelled, like so many other local sports.
“In 2021, Alfredton kicked off a drive to recruit women and ran a number of come try days with a huge amount of success, gathering enough players for two teams, so the league was born.
“The Bears put one of their women’s teams in and a combined Geelong team – the Surf Coast Sharks – joined to make a four-team competition.”
The Bellarine Bears are inviting anyone who wants to try their hand at baseball to attend a training session at their home ground at Wallington Reserve on Thursdays at 6pm or come along to the games.