In 2011, Ghazaleh Sailors and Marti Sementelli made national news when they became the first two female pitchers to face off against each other in a prep baseball game. A year later, a Washington girl is proving that Southern California isn't the only place where females can make an impact while pitching overhand.
As profiled by the Bellevue Reporter and Seattle's KING-5 TV, Interlake (Wash.) High's recently eliminated Class 2A state playoff squad featured a talented pitching staff that included one particularly notable senior: Eleanor Worley.
Worley missed most of her final campaign — the only one spent on the Interlake varsity squad — but still got one notable start when she took the mound for Interlake's home finale against Juanita (Wash.) High. In that game, the teen who had showed plenty of moxie in rehabbing from arm struggles throughout the season pitched an impressive five innings, eventually departing after allowing just three runs and striking out a pair en route to earning what would be her lone varsity baseball victory.
"It really wasn't any different," Worley said of pitching in a varsity game. "I'm just focused on doing my job out there."
In fact, the only thing that may have been different was the treatment Worley received because of her hair. Unlike male players, Worley wears a braid that reaches her waist, and Juanita batters demanded that she tuck the hair into her jersey so it wouldn't be a distraction for batters.
As it turns out, Juanita needed more than a lack of distractions to pull out a victory against Worley, who will depart high school having been part of a playoff baseball squad (Interlake eventually fell in the Class 2A playoffs to Seattle (Wash.) Archbishop Murphy).
"In the end, it's about doing a job, not who is out there doing it," Worley said. "If someone can play, that is all that matters."