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Washington wins first Women’s College Club Baseball Championship

UW Women's Club Baseball team. (Photo courtesy of the Seattle Mariners)

The University of Washington won the first Women’s College Club Baseball national championship with a 19-3 victory over Occidental College on Sunday.

Four teams gathered at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton to take part in Baseball for All’s inaugural event, where the Huskies went undefeated on their way to winning the title.

In addition to winning the championship, Washington participated in a series of events hosted by the Los Angeles Dodgers Training Academy. While there, the Huskies met Maybelle Blair, a former pitcher for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Washington was led by Katie Firestone, who helped start the team, and Maggie Gallagher, a former Gatorade Softball Player of the Year who now coaches the team.

“My story is similar to many other girls who decided to play softball in high school because there wasn’t a women’s baseball team,” Firestone said. “Providing more opportunities for women in baseball is something I’ve always been passionate about … and I think this is the time, now more than ever, for women to get involved in baseball.”

When Gallagher was growing up, she was told to switch to softball, and many players on the club team had the same experience.

“[People] told me, ‘Baseball is not a women’s sport. You shouldn’t play this.’ And I’ve gotten that many times,” Gallagher told the Seattle Times. “We were told that we can’t play baseball and it’s only for boys. So we stopped. And they lost the love of the game, in a sense, where now they have this club. It’s just awesome to see their faces light up.”

Following their win, the team was congratulated by the Seattle Mariners.

The tournament was hosted by Baseball for All, an organization with the mission to establish women’s baseball as an NCAA Emerging Sport. The event was a key step in helping to secure the sport’s status.