NEW YORK (AP) — Kelsie Whitmore has signed a contract with the Staten Island FerryHawks of the Atlantic League, becoming one of the first women to join a league connected to Major League Baseball.

The 23-year-old Whitmore pitched and played in the outfield for the U.S. women’s baseball team from 2014-19. She also played college softball at Cal-State Fullerton.

The Atlantic League teams are not big league affiliates, but the circuit is an MLB partner league.

“The culture and competitiveness of this ballclub just feels right to be a part of,” Whitmore said Friday in a statement. “I’ve been working for an opportunity like this my whole life, and I’m ready to get after it and compete.”

Next up for Whitmore is the FerryHawks’ invitation-only tryout on Saturday afternoon. The team said she will throw and hit in front of coaches Edgardo Alfonzo, Nelson Figueroa and Luis Rodriguez.

Then she will be with the team for spring training beginning on Monday.

“Kelsie is with us today because of her drive, perseverance, and her fiery passion to outwork any person that we sign,” Staten Island general manager Gary Perone said. “Today Kelsie is paving the way for so many young girls who play baseball across the county.”


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