Woman, 75, wants softball game on home ground Veteran player seeks members for Md. league NORTH COUNTY--Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

September 27, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

Chasing balls and ripping line drives up the middle has been sweet for Janet Hull. But the 75-year-old Brooklyn Park woman is tired of trips to Northern Virginia to play with the Golden Girls, a senior women's softball league. She wants to play in her own back yard: Maryland.

After five years of making the 100-mile round trip to Vienna, Va., twice a week, Ms. Hull is trying to organize a senior women's softball league here. "You just can't explain how much fun it is to get out there and play with other senior women," said the retired secretary. "It's just such a great feeling. All the senior girls feel that way."

A slow-pitch, organized-softball league for women over 45 would be the first of its kind in Maryland, said baseball coaches around the state. West Virginia just formed a seniors softball league for women this year, said Ms. Hull, who has been playing the game for years.

The league here would be patterned after Virginia's Golden Girls, which has grown through word of mouth from 16 to 107 members since it was formed five years ago. It now has four teams: the Radical Roses, Mc's Max, Lou's Jewels and the Olympians, the team for which Ms. Hull plays.

"I wish I had this chance when I was 55," said Ms. Hull, whose team won the gold medal in the 1991 National Senior Sports Classic. "I could have been playing for 20 years."

The best players from the Golden Girls' teams go on to compete for trophies in tournaments held throughout the summer in Canada, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baton Rouge, La. and Syracuse, N.Y.

Ms. Hull, who recalls the days when it was considered unladylike for women to play ball, said she hopes a Maryland league could eventually enter tournaments too.

"Women around here want to play ball too," she said.

Women from Rockville, Frederick and Silver Spring also play in the Virginia league from April through October. During the winter months, the Golden Girls keep their skills fresh by practicing in a church.

Like the Virginia team, players of all abilities would be welcome in her league, said Ms. Hull, adding that she'll play any position as long as "they let me play."

For more information about Ms. Hull's efforts, call 789-8556.

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