Originally Published: USA Today Sports
Alysha Tsuji, For The Win
The Sonoma Stompers, a team in the independent Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, are making history this week. On Friday, two women will be signed to their roster and, per the press release, will start in the team’s game vs. the San Rafael Pacifics.
Kelsie Whitmore, 17, and Stacy Piagno, 25, are the two that the Stompers scouted. Both play for Team USA women’s baseball team, and both intend to play in the Women’s Baseball World Cup in South Korea in September.
As noted by the Stompers, this “will be the first co-ed professional baseball team since the 1950s when Toni Stone, Mamie ‘Peanu’ Johnson and Constance Morgan achieved the distinction of becoming the first women to play alongside men in the Negro Leagues.”
Whitmore (outfielder/pitcher) just graduated from Temecula Valley High School and will play softball for Cal State Fullerton next season. Piagno (pitcher) played softball for the University of Tampa and graduated in 2013.
The two were on the same team when the U.S. won gold in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto in which Piagno threw a no-hitter.
The Stompers’ GM, Theo Fightmaster said in the press release:
“While many believe it’s only a matter of time before we see a woman playing in the MLB, I’ve learned over the past several months that there are many steps in between where we are and where we should be in terms of women in this sport. We hope this sends a message to the rest of the baseball world that there is room for women and girls in this game – from Little League to the Major Leagues.”
This announcement comes almost exactly one year after 16-year-old Melissa Mayeux became the first female player to make MLB’s international eligibility list.