Building up girls baseball in Rockford

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) While Rockford is well known for its Peaches, women's baseball has remained relatively dormant in the Stateline over the last 60 years, but a local group is hoping a national tournament can turn things around.

The third annual Baseball For All Nationals kicked off Thursday night at Beyer Stadium with their opening ceremony.

More than 200 girls are expected to play for the title this weekend with games at Sportscore Two.

While the Starfires are currently the only team to represent Rockford, the Friends of Beyer Stadium as well as former Peaches players expect this weekend to go a long way when it comes to building local interest in the sport.

"I hope that we can get more girls in our Starfires team and get more teams here in Rockford," said former Peach Helen Waddell. "We only have the one team but we're going to get them going, we'll get them going here."

"We're hoping that this is the catalyst for starting girls playing baseball here in the Midwest, locally hopefully," said Steve McIntosh, a member of Friends of Beyer Stadium. "Girls can play baseball too. A lot of them love the game and would like to play it so this is hopefully going to start some of those youth leagues."