By KAY FORDE
On Thursday evening, April 28, the South Boston Girls’ Softball League conducted its opening night ceremony at the Shore Road softball field next to the Murphy Rink. It was cold and a bit windy but the players, managers and parents enjoyed the event. Sponsored by the league, the Sausage Man was on hand cooking hot dogs and sausages for those in attendance. Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Boston City Councilor President Michelle Wu were present and threw out the first two balls of the new season. Then several shortened exhibition games were played and a skill’s clinic was conducted next to the softball diamond.
Founded in 2007, the South Boston Girls Softball League is a non-profit organization that continues to encourage and support the development of Boston’s young women to become smarter and stronger student-athletes. The mission of the league is to implant firmly in the children the ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage, and respect for authority, in order to promote the development of decent, healthy, and productive young women.
Governed by the Massachusetts ASA, the South Boston Girls Softball League meets the standard of excellence in softball while providing players with the best training and fair play. It is the only ASA sanctioned program in South Boston. Run by local volunteers and funded by local businesses and sponsors, the program has seen great success since its inception and has grown to include other neighborhoods including Charlestown, the North End, South End, Dorchester, Back Bay, Beacon Hill and East Boston. The program also includes a scholarship program so that we are fully inclusive. The participation fee has remained the same for the past number of years.
The original founders, Mike McNally, Kay Forde, Billy Collins, Susan Woods, Jennifer Jackson, Jimmy Menjin, and Tommy Tinlin, have managed as they had and have girls in the program. Other standout managers include Ritchie Mallard, Gerry Galvin, Jen Evans, Maria Young, Sue Pelham, the Duffley brothers, and a true volunteer, Bill Reynolds, who didn’t have a daughter in the program.
The league includes three age brackets, each with a different level of play. We have an instructional league, as well as 8 and under, 10 and under, and 14 and under teams. We also have a 16 and under travel team which was formed last season. Players on this team were the original minors in the league and have grown with the program. They provide volunteer hours to the younger teams. It truly is a self sustaining girl driven organization. Our girls got to experience competition state wide. Over the years the Mayor’s Cup has been won by the Southie girls’ teams numerous times.
Winter clinics are held during the fall and winter to prep the girls for spring. Keeping in the tradition of the community support, parents continue to be a vital source of help to the program. We have all volunteer coaches and the newest crew includes Kathleen and Mary Ellen Wallace. They’ve worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ready our program for the season. Mariella Collins is the president and comes with a rich softball background. This year we also have many new coaches and we are thankful for their commitment to the league.
The league is still accepting registrations for the 2016 spring/summer season. The organization has an open membership policy that allows any young girl to play for an affordable registration fee. The program is always in need of volunteers to help out. Interested individuals can register at southbostongirlssoftball.com. Please direct any questions to Mariella Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Kay Forde is the treasurer of the South Boston Girls Softball League)
This article was updated on May 5, 2016 to correct information about the league’s president.