Northwoods League Adding Women’s Softball League in 2024
The Northwoods League has been around the Upper Midwest for 30 years, and have done a GREAT job of being ambassadors for the sport of baseball, and making it fun.
Well, now that fun is going to expand into the world of Softball. Northwoods League announced on Thursday they were starting a women's summer collegiate Softball League, set to start in 2024.
"Thirty years ago, we disrupted the landscape of baseball, and we hope to have a similar effect on softball going forward by offering women a truly unique, memorable and valuable experienc ein the Northwoods." - Northwoods League Baseball Chairman/co-Founder, Dick Radatz, Jr.
At the moment, no specific locations have been announced for the teams, but Radatz said they would be spread across the current Northwoods League footprint. This could mean that existing Northwoods Teams would get a Softball Counterpart, OR, that even some cities within the league's region may get a stand-alone team to support.
Teams will play a 40-game schedule, starting in June, and run through the beginning of August, very similar to the current baseball league schedule.
Northwoods League Softball Chairman and co-founder Kathy Radatz said she feels like this new league will help fill a void in the summer softball landscape.
"We have seen tremendous growth in interest in women's softball in recent years, and we are excited to be able to provide a platform for female athletes to continue to hone their skills and compete at a high level during the summer months."
Will we Get Teams in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek?
Hopefully, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek get a team of their own to complement the Growlers and Battle Jacks. Both cities have history with women's sports on the mound. Kalamazoo and Battle Creek had All American Girls Professionals Baseball teams in the 1950s.
For Kalamazoo, the Muskegon Lassies moved into the city in 1950, and stayed until the eventual folding of the league in 1955. The Kalamazoo Lassies actually won the final AAGPBL Championship, and are still, technically, reigning champions.
Battle Creek, however, acquired the Belles from Racine in 1951, but they only lasted two seasons, before moving to Muskegon in 1953.
So if we do happen to get a couple of these Northwoods Softball League Teams, I think we've got a good head start on names!