In a historic night for baseball at Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park Claire Eccles, a UBC softball player and left-handed baseball pitcher from Surrey, BC, pitched the entire 8th and 9th innings for the Victoria Harbourcats of the West Coast League in a 9-0 loss to the Wenatchee Applesox. Eccles became the first woman to ever play a game in the West Coast League, one of the top collegiate summer leagues in North America.
In her two innings, Eccles gave up 2 earned runs, 1 hit, walked 1 batter, and hit another batter with a pitch.
Below is a transcription of Eccles post game scrum with reporters.
Reporter: How many knuckle balls did you throw?
Claire Eccles: “I think about six, seven or eight knuckleballs. Most of them worked, so that’s good.”
Reporter: It was a pretty good outing. You have to be proud of yourself.
Claire Eccles: “I wish I didn’t walk anyone. I wish I din’t hit anyone, but yeah.”
Reporter: Are you happy that your first outing is out of the way now?
Claire Eccles: “Yeah, definitely. I just wanted to play actually. There was a lot of media beforehand. I just wanted to go out and show I could compete.”
Quote from Victoria Harbourcats Manager Brian McRae:
“I just looked at it as another player out there doing their job, it just happened to be a woman on the mound. Over the course of a game you bring someone in, they pitch and try to get outs. I think being able to get in and perform in this situation is going to make her better for the next time she takes the mound. I don’t think she’ll need to be nervous anymore. I think she found out the plate is the same distance from the mound as it always is.”