Women’s softball league looking to grow
Madison County’s first Women’s Softball League took to the Liberty Park fields last Friday night, and founder Kristian Baldridge is looking forward to seeing the growth as excitement spreads.
Baldridge said she had the idea to form a women’s league after watching her kids play baseball and softball and she decided she still had it in her to get back into the sport herself.
“After an extended family game, I decided that I still got it,” Baldridge said. “I put out an ‘interested’ ad on the Madison Moms Facebook page asking if anyone was interested in creating a softball league. We had over 70 people interested in playing, and we ended up with 49 players this season, split into four teams.”
She said her history with softball includes playing recreational softball at Philadelphia’s Northside Park from age 7 to 15.
All four teams in the new league (the Southern Belles, Steal Magnolias, Diamond Girls, and Queen Bees) played against each other on June 2. The Southern Belles faced the Steal Magnolias on Field 7, and the Diamond Girls played the Queen Bees on Field 6. Baldridge herself played with the Diamond Girls.
“We first started practicing on May 21, and we’ve practiced two more times since then,” Baldridge said. “We have some incredibly talented women on these teams.”
The league plans to play several more games over the next few weeks on June 2, June 11, June 22, July 9, and July 15. Baldridge noted there will also be an additional playoff game and an awards ceremony with a party afterwards.
“We’re going to all play hard,” Baldridge said. “Although we want to win, it’s not all about winning. It’s about having fun and meeting new people. We also want to be a mentor for our kids and teach them sportsmanship.”
“We are definitely going to grow,” she said. “The ladies have a very high standard to meet and we plan on creating an official board. We’re going to get affiliated with another league and we want to have more teams and play more than just summer games. We were inspired by the movie “The League of Our Own,” which is about women who created a professional softball league when all the men went off to fight in World War II.”
Outside of playing softball, Baldridge enjoys spending time with her husband Matt and their four children, McKaylen, Kinsley, Matthew, and Miles Maine.
Megan Helms, a player for the Queen Bees team, said the Madison County Softball League is a refreshing break from the daily routines of motherhood.
“This league is allowing me to rediscover the joy of playing a sport I love, while also bringing back all the childhood memories I have forgotten about over the years,” Helms said. “The new friendships that have developed is the cherry on top.”
Erica Berry of the Steal Magnolias team said she was thrilled about the opportunity to play for the league.
“When I first moved to Mississippi nine years ago, I called around looking for an adult league to play softball and I found nothing,” Berry said. “When Kristian presented her idea to a group of mommas, I was thrilled. Growing up playing softball was my passion, and to be able to play again and connect with women in our community has been amazing.”
For more information about the Madison County Women’s Softball League, visit their Instagram page at madisonmswomenssoftball_league or their Facebook page.