Watch the Great Britain Women's Team make history in its first international tournament

August 26th, 2022

It began just two years ago. While men's baseball has a long history in England, women were left on the sidelines, given the option to play other sports like soccer or softball. But in 2020, that changed when the British Baseball Federation announced the beginning of the Great Britain Women's National Team for the first time in history.

Amanda "Doris" Hocking was named manager of the club, a role she was seemingly born for. The founder of Women's Baseball UK, Hocking was just seven years old when she convinced her school to switch from playing rounders to baseball.

Design by Tom Forget

“For any baseball player, the ultimate achievement is to represent their country, and I welcome the announcement of a Women’s National Team," Hocking said at the time. "I see the role of the GB National Board as one which ensures that our players are provided with the level of support they need so that both the men’s and the women’s teams can be equally successful. With the upcoming developments in Women’s baseball across Europe in the past 18 months, Great Britain must be featured alongside other countries who are also proudly setting a great example in baseball by investing in Women’s National Teams.”

Just two years after its formation, Team GB found itself in its first international tournament, playing in France for the title of European champion.

"I used to just accept that women played softball and men played baseball," Marianna Casal, a shortstop, pitcher and catcher for Team GB, said in the new "MLB Europe Play Stories" series. Casal had long played softball and was even on Team GB's National Fastpitch team -- but she made the switch to baseball and was behind the plate when England won its first game, a 27-10 wallopping of the Czech Republic.

"But now look at us," Casal said. "The people who doubted us just days before the event? We just proved everyone wrong."

The tournament was not the end of Team GB's story, but rather a beginning. Just as women's soccer is growing around the world, so too is women's baseball, and the Great Britain Women's Team wants to help lead the charge.

"Women in sport is so important because when you empower women, everything gets better," outfielder Rose Bhanji said. "Give us a ball, a bat, and the space and time to do great things."

For more on the women's team and how the rest of the tournament went, watch the video below or click here to watch on YouTube: