HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – For the first time in modern history, women will have the opportunity to participate in an all-women’s college baseball event, the BFA Women’s College Baseball Invitational.
This is a two-day showcase and tournament solely focused on the development of girls and women interested in playing college baseball. This event will be held Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15 and hosted by Baseball For All at Centenary University in Hackettstown.
“‘Women have been playing baseball in college even before we had the right to vote. We are thrilled to introduce this program to demonstrate the immense amounts of talent we currently have at the high school and college levels-and show their love for the game and desire to play college baseball,” says Dr. Justine Siegal, PhD, founder of Baseball For All.
Of the 30 women who will be attending, four are already slated to play at colleges in the coming Spring 2022 season: Beth Greenwood (University of Rochester, 2022); Luisa Gauci (Green River College, 2024); Alexia Jorge (Saint Elizabeth University, 2025), and Skylar Kaplan (Anne Arundel Community College, 2024). They are part of a record-breaking group representing the most number of individual women rostered to play on ‘men’s’ college baseball team than ever before.
“It is an honor and a privilege to collaborate with Justine Siegal and Baseball For All to host this historic event,” says Scott Kushner, Head Baseball Coach at Centenary University. “Not only does this signal progress for women and girls with baseball aspirations; it is also a major step forward for the game itself. Baseball gets better when it is more inclusive. The more women on fields, in dugouts, in front offices, and in stands-the more the game grows.”
This Women’s College Baseball Invitational is part of a larger initiative from Baseball For All, as it works toward establishing women’s baseball at the collegiate level. This fall, the organization will partner with 12 colleges across the country to establish Women’s Club College Baseball teams-a necessary step in becoming an NCAA-sanctioned sport.
Dr. Siegal’s own baseball experience in college helped to lay the groundwork of this program. Instead of choosing a soccer scholarship at a D1 school, she chose a smaller D3 school with a no-cut policy in order to play baseball, but was denied a spot because of a ‘lack of jerseys.’ Instead of giving up, she worked hard to become the first woman to coach professional men’s baseball (Brockton Rox, 2009), the first female to coach for a Major League Baseball Organization (Oakland A’s, 2015, Fall Instructional League)-and now is committed to providing more opportunities for girls to play at all levels of the sport.