Independent Baseball Team Makes History Signing Two Women To Roster

Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno will join the Sonoma Stompers and start for them on Friday, July 1st. JP Raineri/Rob Furtrell

Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno will join the Sonoma Stompers and start for them on Friday, July 1st.

JP Raineri/Rob Furtrell

Originally Published: CBSSports.com

Matt Snyder, CBS Sports Writer

The Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs will make history by adding two women players to their roster beginning on July 1, per the team's official website.

The players: Kelsie Whitmore, 17, a pitcher/outfielder from Temecula, Calif. and Stacy Piagno, 25, a pitcher/infielder from St. Augustine, Fla.

The sponsor of the Stompers? "Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola's Virginia Dare Winery.

Coppola released the following statement, via pressdemocrat.com:

"In an effort to promote the recruitment, development and advancement of women in baseball," an announcement from the director's company said, the team began " ... searching for the best women baseball players in the United States to come and join the team."

"My family would play co-ed baseball games and inevitably the star player would always be an aunt who could run and hit and that made the games so much more fun.
"When watching major league baseball, I always wondered why there couldn't be a co-ed team. It's the one major sport in which weight and strength come less into play. So when my Sonoma (County) winery became involved with the Stompers, I had the opportunity to turn this thought into a reality and recruit these amazing women capable of playing alongside men."

Whitmore graduated from the California Baseball Academy and has a softball scholarship at Cal State Fullerton. Piagno won a gold medal in the 2015 Pan Am Games with the U.S. women's baseball team -- yes, baseball -- and threw a no-hitter in the event.

Both women are also on Team USA for the Women's Baseball World Cup, which takes place in South Korea this year, beginning in September (via newyorkdailynews.com).
The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs is an independent league and has no affiliation with either Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball.