Girls to take mound in San Marcos-Birmingham baseball game

History will be made on a baseball field in the San Fernando Valley on Saturday, and the San Marcos Royals will be a part of it.

The Royals will send senior Ghazaleh Sailors to the mound to face Birmingham’s Marti Sementelli for what is believed to be the first pitching dual between girls in high school varsity baseball. The game is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Birmingham.

The girls were teammates on the bronze-medal U.S. Women’s National Team last summer at the IBF Women’s World Cup Baseball Championships in Venezuela.

Both girls have been playing baseball since they were kids. Sailors started in Santa Barbara Pony Baseball. She’s played the last two seasons on the San Marcos junior varsity team.

“I think it’s going to be exciting. It’s kind of fun,” said San Marcos coach Tony Vanetti, who’s coached Sailors for the last two years on the JV team. “Having her last year and knowing what kind of competitor she is, I think it makes it more exciting for me just because I know her. I know what makes her tick and I know how she approaches it.

“She’s looking at it like another game, but it’s a special game so we’re going to do our part for that. Hopefully, it’s a good turnout for us and hopefully the result goes our way, that’s all we can ask for.”

Sailors said she is “honored and privileged” to play in the gender barrier-breaking game.

Sailors knows her history about women in baseball. She cites the story of Jackie Miller, a 17-year-old pitcher for the minor league Chattanooga Lookouts, who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back in a New York Yankees exhibition game in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1931. Miller later had her contract voided by Major League Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

“There’s a lot of barriers that should be broken and this is a honor to break this one,” said Sailors. “Marti and I are both playing college baseball next year. We both have similar stories; we’ve both had to transfer schools because of problems we’ve had on the baseball field. Because of that, we’re such good friends and it’s a honor to pitch against her.”

Sementelli, in an interview with ESPN-Los Angeles, said she and Sailors throw at about the same speed and have a breaking ball and changeup. But, she added, “I have a couple more pitches than she does.”

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