De La Cretaz: All-girls baseball team bats back adversity from Roxbury to Rockford

From Britni de la Cretaz at DigBoston on September 6, 2018, with mention of SABR member Justine Siegal:

At the Baseball For All nationals in Rockford, Illinois, last month, a team of 14 young girls from Roxbury made their first-ever tournament appearance. The players represented the BASE, a program built to help young athletes “achieve their full potential both on and off the field,” and cheered for their teammates from the dugout.

“Rip, rip, rip! Get a hit, get a hit!”

The BASE lost the game I watched them play against the New York Wonders, as well as other games against the Boston Slammers, the Chicago Pioneers, and the Toronto Cardinals. The losses could have been expected; before February, most of the girls from Roxbury had never played baseball before. Or any other organized sport for that matter. Some team members were playing baseball for the very first time in their lives at the national tournament. They were there for the experience, an accomplishment in and of itself.

“We told them, ‘Let’s come here and see what it’s all about. Let’s put this under our belt and next year we’ll be more competitive,’” coach Lori Dipina said. Despite their struggles on the field, the girls never gave up on a single play. They stayed with every ball through bobbles, missed catches, and confusion over where to throw. When a player took her base after getting hit by a pitch, the dugout erupted into a chant, “We love free bases, we love free bases!”

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Originally published: September 7, 2018. Last Updated: September 7, 2018.