The first time I saw her play baseball, she was about 10 years old. The long blond hair hanging out the back of her baseball cap was the only sign of this girl in a boy-dominated sport. Without that hair, you would never know. She blew pitches by batters (most of whom were boys), leaving them shaking their heads as they walked away from the plate. She fielded balls athletically and made the long throw from third to get the out at first. She hit a mean ball to the outfield. She had “all the tools,” as they say in the baseball world. She astonished viewers on the bleachers. “Is she for real?” they asked.
Oh, yes. Hannah Martensen was for real all right. This week she was the winning pitcher for the Canadian Women’s Baseball Team in the bronze medal game at the World Cup.
Canada is proud to say she throws like a girl.
I watched Hannah play with Pinecrest Little League teams in Ottawa, so I’m familiar with her skills. But she is just one member of a team of accomplished athletes, community members and students. All these girls, and all the women on every baseball team from around the world, serve as shining examples to young girls everywhere.
Yes, you can excel at a male-dominated sport.
Yes, it is okay to be the only girl on the team.
Yes, go ahead and strike out batters with your wicked fastball.
And change the meaning of throwing like a girl.