Just two months after the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Little League Baseball® World Series, it was the game of softball that brought hundreds of people to Williamsport for a memorable day filled with fun and festivities as part of the first ever Girls with Game Experience.
“It was an incredible opportunity to bring the fun and excitement of softball to the home of the Little League Baseball World Series and provide more than one hundred girls with game the unique opportunity to interact with Division I college athletes and take home these incredible memories,” said Ashlea Nash-Miller, Little League Director of Softball Development. “I cannot thank everyone at Maryland, Penn State, and MBI Camps for helping put together this great event and look forward to continuing to find new ways to bring the game of softball to life here in Williamsport and in communities around the world.”
The day’s festivities kicked off with a two-hour clinic, led by instructors from MBI Camps and members of both the Penn State and Maryland softball teams, where more than 100 camp participants had the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in the infield (Lamade Stadium), outfield (Volunteer Stadium), and hitting (batting cages).
Following the clinic, and after enjoying a lunch from Little League, participants had the opportunity to explore the World of Little League® Museum and shop at the Little League Gift Shop before taking to Volunteer Stadium for a 45-minute yoga and stretching session, led by Josie Miller of the River Valley Regional YMCA Williamsport Branch.
The day continued with a special guest and motivational speech by Joey Lye, an Olympic Softball Bronze Medalist for Team Canada, a dual-sport NCAA athlete, a Division III All-American Softball player, and an NCAA softball coach of 19 seasons before heading to Lamade Stadium to watch their clinic instructors take the field.
Wrapping up the day was the first ever college softball game to be played on Howard J. Lamade Stadium as Penn State and Maryland squared off in an exhibition game. After opening with a ceremonial first pitch by Joey Lye, a National Anthem performance by Uptown Music Collective’s Isabel Butters, and the reciting of the Little League Pledge by Penn State’s Bailey Parshall, Penn State went on to take a 6-0 victory over Maryland.
“This has been a tremendous opportunity to grow the game of softball and inspire some young girls to maybe one day become college players and leaders in the world, and we’re excited to be a part of that,” said Mark Montgomery, University of Maryland Softball Head Coach. “This is such a historic venue and a place our players grew up watching on television, so to be able to work with Little League to grow the game of softball here, it’s just exciting.”
Meet our Terps ahead of tonight’s match up against Penn State 🐢 pic.twitter.com/y5J7a0JQJP
— Maryland Softball (@TerpsSoftball) October 15, 2022
Following the game, members of Penn State and Maryland softball teams stuck around to sign autographs and take pictures with the clinic participants, rounding out the day with some final memorable moments and sending all the day’s participants home with a smile.
“One of the big things for us at Penn State, and I know at Maryland as well, is making sure we serve as role models and represent our community, and this was such a great way to do that,” said Clarisa Crowell, Penn State University Softball Head Coach. “For us to have the opportunity to come out here and help grow the game here in Williamsport, at the home of the Little League Baseball World Series, is pretty cool.”
The unique, all-day event was named in celebration of the Little League Girls with Game initiative which was launched in 2019 to honor all the girls and women who have made the Little League program what it is today and those who inspire the future generation of female participants at every level. From written stories and feature videos to inspiring quotes and photos across all its digital media platforms, the Girls with Game initiative celebrates the memorable moments, exciting events, and inspiring individuals throughout the Little League Baseball and Softball program all year long. To learn more about this initiative, visit LittleLeague.org/GirlsWithGame.