by Chip Colandreo
After two successful years as Lake Mary Little League’s lone girls softball team, the Lunachicks are ready to welcome some cheerful new teammates
If there’s one thing Lake Mary has plenty of, it’s opportunities for children to enjoy the team sports and outdoor activities they adore. If there’s one thing Lake Mary is lacking, however, it’s a chance for more young girls to live out their dreams on the softball diamond. While Little League and Babe Ruth programs in other communities have well-established girls softball divisions, Lake Mary Little League fielded its first softball team only two years ago.
All that is about to change, however, as the Lake Mary Lunachicks softball team has made a name for itself as a fun and capable squad, able to go toe-to-toe with other Central Florida softball teams in the minors division (ages 7 to 10). And now, with the help of Lake Mary Little League softball coordinator, Kimmy Dunn, the league is actively looking to expand the softball program to include as many young girls as it can recruit.
“Our program is such a great platform for girls to learn and have so much fun,” says Kimmy, whose daughter, Avery, plays first base for the Lunachicks. Husband Scott is the manager. “Two years ago, the league gave us permission to field a team if we could find enough girls who wanted to play. It was a challenge, but we did it, and the Lunachicks were born. Last season, we had no problem filling the roster again, and we posted a winning season. For 2015, if we can find enough girls, we hope to add at least one more team in the minors division, expand to the majors division [ages 10 to 12], and add a rookie division team for first-time players ages 7 and 8.”
Kimmy is actively spreading word of the softball program to area schools, and girls are encouraged to sign up anytime before the end of January when practices for the upcoming February-to-May season begin.
What can Lake Mary Little League softball players expect?
“A lot of fun, tremendous support from everyone in the league, and no competitive pressure,” Kimmy says. “The girls just love to play the game. They get so much joy out of it. During our inaugural year, we didn’t win until the very last game of the season, but you would have never believed it by looking at the girls and their smiling faces every time they took the field. When we won that final game, the parents were in tears, but the girls were totally unfazed. They just love to play, win or lose.”
Every child gets to play in every game, and coaches are encouraged to rotate kids around the different positions, so each player can get a feel for the on-field role they like best. In the minors softball division, play is a combination of kid- and coach-pitch. There are no walks, and the young lady pitcher throws the first four pitches. After that, coaches pitch until the batter either strikes out or puts a ball in play.
“The community has embraced the softball program, and the girls really appreciate the support they’ve received,” says Kimmy, whose family has lived in Lake Mary for 12 years. “The boys and their parents often come over to cheer us on, and we have a parents-versus-kids game at the end of every season to celebrate.
“There’s a real sense of community here,” Kimmy continues, “and I can’t wait for the other girls to experience what the Lunachicks have experienced.”
To learn more about Lake Mary Little League softball or to sign up, email Kimmy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Courtesy of Amy Smith
Meet the Lunachicks