An independent professional baseball team in Northern California is making history as the first team to play two women since the 1950s.
The Sonoma Stompers, a pro baseball team located in Sonoma, will play its first-ever two female players. The Stompers released an official statement this week saying they recruited 17-year-old outfielder and pitcher Kelsie Whitmore and 25-year-old pitcher and infielder Stacy Piagno.
They're both in the starting lineup.
The Stompers is part of the independent Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs. The team said it will be only the third time since the 1950s that women have played on a professional baseball team in the United States. Southern California native Ila Borders pitched for minor league clubs between 1997 and 2000, according to the team. Pitcher Eri Yoshida played minor league ball for the Chico Outlaws in 2010 and has also played professionally in Japan.
Before that, Toni Stone, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson and Constance Morgan played alongside men in the Negro Leagues in the 1950s.
The Stompers’ primary sponsor is Francis Ford Coppola’s Virginia Dare Winery in Geyserville.
Friday won't be the first time the Stompers have made history: In 2015, they became the first team to have an openly-gay professional - Sean Conroy - play on the roster.