Bats in their hands, helmets on and smiles on their face — these are the newest faces of girl’s softball.
Currently, the Cranbrook Minor Ball Association has two teams in the U12 girl’s softball division and has seen it grown to where they might be able to expand it even more.
“This year we could have had three teams, so that’s promising for the older they get. So, we just try to get more and more girls interested,” said Christy Lowde, coach of the Red Robins.
There has been a continuous growth in the last couple of years of new girls wanting to play the sport.
“There’s a lot of newbies, which is nice to see that you don’t have to start when you are five years old and they can start now,” she said.
“We have five brand-new players who have never played, and caught up almost immediately — you wouldn’t even know they were first year. We have four second years, and others that have played the whole time.”
Lowd has been active in ball for years, as her two daughters and niece have been on teams.
“There were not very many players in the divisions before. For the population of Cranbrook and only having two teams is pretty disappointing, especially for girls fastball, because it used to be quite popular,” said Lowde.
New players to the team include Emma Hogan, 12, and Ruby Knight, 10, who said they are loving their time in the sport.
“I used to just play with my family, and I thought it was pretty fun [so I wanted to join],” said Hogan.
Knight also has family who plays baseball, and that was a factor why she wanted to join.
“I thought it was super fun when I would play with them, so I decided to [try it],” she said.
Both of the first year players say batting is one of their favourite parts of the game.
Baseball offers many different positive aspects to its players, but the camaraderie is one Lowde thinks her team really enjoys.
“It promotes a social aspect because it’s girls from all different schools, and this activity is outdoors, which is nice. You don’t have to be incredibly athletic to play, you can be versatile — some are good at hitting and running. It endorses all types of people’s skillsets,” said Lowde.
Like any sport, it takes volunteers to be able to put on the best possible show, and Lowde adds they couldn’t do it without the volunteers on her team and the other.
“Most times we have four adults out not he field helping these girls, and it makes a huge difference because when you have new people you can’t give them the one-on-one they need. So, the volunteers I think it makes the team or breaks the team,” she said.