DINWIDDIE, Va. (WWBT) - Baseball players may be referred to as The Boys of Summer, but for one Dinwiddie youth team, a girl of summer is a big part of the squad as well.
Abrielle Shaw, 9, has been playing baseball since she was 4. She’s grown up around the game, watching her older brother play, and fell in love with the sport.
“I get to play with my friends, and win,” she said of reasons she likes baseball during a practice this week.
Abrielle knows a lot about the rules of the game, as well as its history. Her favorite player is Jackie Robinson, an athlete that piqued her interest because of his trailblazing journey to become the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. Abrielle’s mother, Melissa, said that her daughter hopes to make history of her own and become the first female player in the major leagues.
DC Titans head coach Scott Lewis has never coached a girl baseball player during his eight years coaching youth programs until now. He said it’s certainly a first for him, but that it’s a pleasant surprise because Abrielle is one of his best athletes.
“A lot of times I do have to catch myself to know that I even have a girl,” said Lewis. “She plays hard or harder than any player I have.”
The 9-year-old said she has never felt like she doesn’t belong and her teammates have always been accepting. She’s played nearly every position on the field, but her favorite spot is catcher, where she can definitely handle herself.
“Catching, she’s probably the captain on our field,” added Lewis. “She knows the game as well as any kid I have.”
Lewis also said she can take baseballs off the shoulder while catching, get hit by a pitch while in the batter’s box, and still shake it off and not miss a beat. She also sets quite an example for her teammates.
“I think she forces them to play hard. Just lead by example," Lewis said. "She’s more of a quiet leader.”
While softball may be in the cards for Abrielle down the road, baseball with the boys is her current love, and don’t expect her to walk away anytime soon.
“I want to play baseball my whole entire life,” she said. “My goal is to play baseball in high school or college.”
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