Teenager Genevieve Beacom has become the first female pitcher to play for an Australian professional baseball team.
The 17-year-old made her debut for Melbourne Aces in the Melbourne Challenge Series, recording no hits and no runs.
She signed for the Aces earlier this month as a development player, and was subbed into Saturday’s match against Adelaide Giants for the opponent’s final innings.
“When I got out there I just wanted to shut down the runs,” Beacom said. “They had some momentum so the goal was just to stop the run scoring.”
Despite her best efforts, Beacom was on the losing side. The Melbourne Aces lost 7-1 in the second of a three-match series against Adelaide Giants.
Beacom already has a number of milestones to her name. She became the first woman to pitch in a Victorian Summer League division one game, and has represented Victoria and Australia at youth levels.
The star hopes to play baseball at college level in the United States.
Following her historic appearance for Melbourne Aces, Beacom thanked her family and coaches for their support.
“If anyone tries to push you to do something you don’t want to do, push you to softball or play sport that you ‘should be playing’, don’t listen,” Beacom said.
“Do what you want to do and just know that if you work hard enough you can definitely make it somewhere, it’s not impossible. It can be done.”
Social media reacted in delight to Beacom’s debut, with one Twitter user posting: “HERE IT IS! HISTORY! 17-year-old Genevieve Beacom, taking to the mound for her Melbourne Aces
debut – the first woman to play for a professional men’s baseball team in Australia.
“A trailblazer in every sense of the word!”
Another wrote: “This is 17-year-old Genevieve Beacom making her debut for the Melbourne Aces of the Australian League.
“These moments are a friendly reminder that a female playing professional baseball isn’t as far-fetched as some may think. It’s going to happen soon.”