EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Thousands of girls are competing to be the best of the best in the USSSA softball tournament, and while they’re in the Tri-State they’re looking up to the professionals taking over Bosse Field.
“I just remember being one of those young girls in the stands and to have the opportunity to play in front of them and to be that role model for them is more than I could ever ask for,” said USSSA Pride centerfielder Haley Cruse.
Although they’re professionals, they had goosebumps playing at the third oldest stadium in America.
“Being in a stadium that has so much history and so much just baseball and softball like just passion and love just engraved in its like bones I think that’s super amazing,” said Smash It Sports Vipers pitcher Taran Alvelo.
Several of the players said when they walked up to Bosse Field on day one, they instantly recognized it from one of their favorite movies growing up. Let the fangirling begin.
“I walked in and I was like ‘this feels really like a league of their own’ and they were like ‘it is’ and my jaw dropped,” said Vipers first baseman Fa Leilua. “And I was like ‘no way!’ I went in the locker room, I was looking at everything. I was just picturing the movie and I was like, ‘wow, this is where he stood, this is where she stood’ and it was amazing.”
“It was like a sight to see it was brings you back to your childhood when you watch the movie for the first time,” said Pride outfielder Kayla Wedl.
“Now I can go on and watch that movie again and say ‘I played right there,'” added Alvelo.
‘A League of Their Own’ was a staple for many of these girls, inspiring them to persevere as females in the sports world.
“I think that’s the biggest thing that we can get from that movie itself is us we have to work,” said Alvelo. There’s gonna be people doubting us and then once they see what we’re doing and what we’re creating here, they’re gonna be behind us. And the women who got it started, we owe it to them to keep this going.”
And — who could deny — it’s just an iconic movie.
“When he says ‘there’s no crying in baseball,'” said Wedl. “We were mimicking it all week. ‘There’s no crying in Baseball!’ That was my favorite part.”