PH Women’s Softball: A surprising revival that needs to be sustained

Date Published: August 10, 2018

The Philippines, represented by Tanauan LL Softball Team, has won the Little League Senior League Softball World Series, and with the RP Blu Girls also making a mark in the WBSC 2018 Women’s Softball World Championships, more attention and support should be given to women’s softball in the country.

The Philippine Blu Girls have just finished their campaign in the world stage with a narrow defeat against Great Britain in their final game. But given it’s not at all a disappointing result given the low exposure and interest that the sporting landscape the Philippines has when it comes to the sport.

Also, despite winning only two of their eight games (a 10-0 winning opener against South Africa and a 5-4 defeat of the Netherlands), the losses were actually sorry ones and closely contested (with only the 12-0 loss to top seeded USA being the lopsided defeat). The overall performance of the Blu Girls could be considered as a promising one that showed the potential of the country in the sport if only softball, as a spectator sport, has a much bigger foothold in the Southeast Asian nation.

But days before the national team’s campaign has gone to conclusion, a much bigger result has rocked the world of Philippine Sports on the other side of the Pacific as Tanauan Little League’s softball team has pulled off a surprising championship victory in the Senior League Softball World Series held in the USA by beating Texas District 9 Little League of Waco, Texas.

Representing the Asia-Pacific region, the Filipino squad produced an almost perfect pitching performance care of Royevel Palma en-route to a commanding 7-0 triumph which serves as the first time that a team from the Asia-Pacific has won the tournament.

The result definitely sent the local media alight and scrambling to have a moment with the players of the Batangas-based ball-club as it put once again the country in the world map in a sport that is still considered a niche in the nation.

With these two campaigns coming to a conclusion, it should be an eye-opener to the Filipino public and sports stakeholders to take action in furthering the development of women’s softball.

Of course, all entities already heavily involved in supporting Philippine Women’s Softball should already be commended in all their efforts in promoting and growing the sport, but more still needs to be done.

The promise definitely has been shown in one campaign and even delivered big time in another. The next step now is to sustain or even improve the performances of these commendable women.

As for the media, it will be better and ideal if the sport, with the local league and other activities will be featured regularly, and not just during the high times. Yes that pertains to ALL sporting media entities (again, ideally speaking).

It is easier said than done though because of how the Philippine sporting media landscape is and how it works, taking also into consideration the business side of things. But what is happening now in the country’s women’s softball is a revival and something that shouldn’t go unnoticed let pass through the cracks.

The media needs to be able to get out the message that Philippine Women’s Softball is thriving and should be able to help trigger interest in creating a following.

Although softball, which is closely related to baseball, is a sport that initially might not immediately capture the fancy of most Filipinos because of its slow-paced scoring and lack of game-flow, the sport actually has much more to offer than just the high scoring aspect and the constant action that it lacks.

For sports fans who are very much into crunching stats, softball is a stat-laden sport which will make any stat-crazed sports fans go crazy in appreciation of what the sport has in store. Also, the essence of softball, to fully appreciate it, lies in the anticipation and suspense factor as plays build up onwards to completing runs for points. With these, characteristics, softball is really a sport that can trigger a significant following, add to the fact that it doesn’t require a certain set of physical attributes to really thrive in the game (such as basketball where height usually is a factor).

The recent achievements of our women’s teams in softball came as a welcome surprise and indeed something to be proud of. A wave has definitely been created and it’s time to use the momentum it has to further the sport.