Sonoma Stompers make history as 2 women players take field

The movie "A League of Their Own" famously celebrated women in baseball during World War II. Now, 70 years later, two Bay Area women are making history.

If you said Friday night's starting pitcher for the Sonoma Stompers throws like a girl, you'd be exactly right. Stacy Piagno, 25, took to the mound and made a little bit of history.

"I try not to think of the hype of it. I just play baseball, because that's what I love to do," Piagno said.

Stacy's not alone. Kelsie Whitmore is playing left field.

Whitmore's only 17 and a standout high school softball player from Southern California. On Friday night her mind was on one thing. "Everything in my head went out and I focused on the game, came out right," Whitmore said.

This is history in the making. It's the first time since the 1950s two women have been on the same team in a men's professional league.

The idea came from none other than Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola, a Sonoma County resident and a huge Stompers fan.

"He charged us with a mission to find women to play alongside the men," said Stompers vice-president Theo Fightmaster.

Some guys on the team have mixed emotions. "I'm always up for new things. If they can compete, they deserve to be here," said the Stompers pitcher Mike Jackson.

Even in a shared locker room. "No one's walking around naked or anything," Piagno said.

Team owners say this is no publicity stunt, but it did fill the stands. There was a sellout crowd and Rebecca Kee brought her kids

"Women in baseball, it's time. Haven't you seen 'A League of Their Own?' Dirt in the skirt," Kee said.

They realize the instant role model thing is real now. "Yes, I realize we're paving the way for girls that's amazing, but we're also just playing the game we love," Piagno said.

The Stompers lost Friday's game, but will be back in the starting lineup this weekend playing on what has to be their filed of dreams.
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