For the first time in history, one Prince George’s County high school baseball team has participated. Two girls saved the season after the coronavirus pandemic caused some hesitation among the regular players.
When the Surrattsville High Hornets hit the baseball field, other teams are talking smack when they see juniors Kylei Matthews and Tiara Pinkard on their team.
Do they have girls on their team? “It’s just the way they are,” said Kylei, “they try to underestimate how we play.”
But after Tiara hit his first no-hitter, everything stopped talking.
“So I was like, ‘Let me just prove you guys are crazy right away,'” Tiara said. “I was shocked myself. When I did, I was like, ‘Dang, you just did it.’ But it felt good. “
The historic transition to a co-ed team was a necessity, as there were not enough girls for a softball team or enough boys for a baseball team.
“Some people were reserved about coming back because of Covid, so I said OK, we can be short,” said coach Eric Summers II. “I did not know what to expect, but when they came here, it was simply finished.”
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Teammate Jamal McPherson said the guys on the team support their new teammates, especially when they saw what they could do on the field.
“I thought it was inspiring, you see,” McPherson said. “We knew they were tough. We knew they could play baseball. It’s just a mindset, you know. ”
There is not much documented history of black women in baseball.
During World War II, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League depicted in the movie “A League of Their Own” did not allow black women.
There are a few women who played in the Negro League on completely male teams, such as Toni Stone. The brief history makes what the Surrattsville baseball team does so much more important.
Kylei said that when they first started on the baseball team, she did not think it would be that big.
“Hearing [about the history] in fact, it does that, much bigger than I actually thought it would be, ”said Kylei.
Their team currently has two games left in the season, and then it goes on to the playoffs in the state.
“I feel that if you can do it, you can do it. “Let no one tell you that you can do nothing,” said Tiara.
Both girls started playing softball in middle school. When things reopen, they are expected to return to softball.
After this season, Kylei and Tiara said they will continue to play on co-ed baseball teams.