Pitcher Claire Eccles will become the first woman to play in Canada’s West Coast League, an 11-team summer developmental league for some of the top college baseball talent in North America.
Eccles, who has played two seasons of softball for the University of British Columbia, is one of the top pitchers for the Baseball Canada women’s national team. She will play for the Victoria HarbourCats this summer, beginning May 30.
Eccles, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher, mainly throws a knuckleball and a curveball.
“A hundred percent Claire is good enough to play on our team,” HarbourCats general manager Brad Norris-Jones told CBC. “Is it going to be a challenge for Claire? Absolutely. We’re just going to get everyone involved and show that in 2017 this isn’t different, this isn’t weird. It’s normal.”
[More from Excelle Sports: Emma Charlesworth-Seiler becomes eighth woman to umpire in an affiliated league]
BREAKING | Claire Eccles of @UBCSoftball will become first female to ever play baseball in the West Coast League
— UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) May 16, 2017
Honoured to be getting the chance to play with the @HarbourCats this summer. Exciting day for myself and women in baseball
— claire eccles (@claireeccles4) May 16, 2017
Eccles previously pitched in two Women’s Baseball World Cups and the 2015 Pan-Am Games.