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A Vashon league of their own
Islander Pamn Aspiri played co-ed softball on Vashon for more than a decade, usually one of just a few women on a mostly male team. She said she loved playing on the league, but always had a hunch that more Island women were interested in softball but simply didn’t want to take to the field with men who could sometimes play rough.
It turned out her hunch was right.
Last summer Aspiri and fellow player Jessica DeWire started the Vashon Women’s Softball League, which like the co-ed league is affiliated with the Vashon Park District, and fielded enough women to form four teams.
The first season was a big success, Aspiri said, and this year the league is off and running with six teams.
“After we had our first season and women saw how much fun we were having, a bunch of women wanted to jump on board,” said Aspiri, who coordinates the league. “Next year we’re looking at having eight teams.”
Last Thursday night the Diamond Divas, a team of mostly younger women donned in bright pink T-shirts, took on the Hasbians, who say they are almost all lesbians.
As Diamond Diva players shouted and cheered in the background, Hasbian Beth Britz explained how Vashon had a women’s league about 25 years ago that petered away. A few of the Hasbians played on a team together then, she said.
“You shoulda seen us back when,” Britz joked.
Aspiri said the women who play now range in age from 18 to 65 and have all levels of experience on the field. Some women even played softball off-Island before the Vashon league formed.
“Women who have played softball their whole lives, through college, and women who have just stepped on the field and have never touched a bat and both are having an equal amount of fun,” she said.
And while the games can get competitive, Aspiri said, the women are all good natured and focused on having a good time.
“It’s just a different game when you have all women on the field. It’s a very different energy,” she said. “There are smiles on both sides every day.”