Kelsie Whitmore breaks new ground in FerryHawks' starting lineup

Two-way player becomes first woman to start an Atlantic League game

May 2nd, 2022

Kelsie Whitmore made history Sunday afternoon when she became the first woman to be in the starting lineup for an Atlantic League game, playing left field and batting ninth for the Staten Island FerryHawks against the Gastonia Honey Hunters in Gastonia, N.C.

Whitmore went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and was hit by a pitch before being replaced by a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of a 10-5 loss. She also made two putouts in left field.

The 23-year-old two-way player signed with the FerryHawks on April 8, making her one of the first women to sign a contract with a professional league affiliated with Major League Baseball.

"I'm very grateful and excited for this opportunity to sign with the FerryHawks," Whitmore said upon signing. "The culture and competitiveness of this ballclub just feels right to be a part of. I've been working for an opportunity like this my whole life, and I'm ready to get after it and compete."

As a two-way player, Whitmore is eligible to pitch and hit in the same game while with the FerryHawks thanks to the so-called “Shohei Ohtani Rule” that enables a pitcher to serve as a team’s designated hitter in the Majors, a rule that the Atlantic League has adopted.

Whitmore began her professional baseball career when she was 18, playing for the independent Sonoma Stompers. She played for Sonoma from 2016-17, and last year she pitched for the independent Portland Pickles.

Whitmore also played for the USA Women’s National baseball team, winning a silver medal in the 2014 Women’s Baseball World Cup and a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games. She posted a 1.35 ERA for Team USA from 2014-19 and hit .348 during the 2019 Pan Am games.