MARCH IS Women's History Month, and as we celebrate women's contributions to history, culture and society at a national level, what better time to honor those closer to home – the players, coaches and administrators whose efforts have elevated women's fastpitch softball to the extraordinary heights we enjoy today.
When I worked for the NFCA, we had the privilege of publishing a history of women's fastpitch softball written by former Arizona State head coach Mary Littlewood. Mary, who founded the softball program at ASU, coached fastpitch at the school, as well as other sports, from 1967 through 1989. After her college coaching days were over, she came to the NFCA with manuscript in hand, in addition to more than 200 photographs and illustrations to complement her written word. It was an amazing compilation, and all we had to do was put it together in book form and publish it, which we did in 1998. As I reminisce now on our sport's history, Mary's book, "Women's Fastpitch Softball – The Path to the Gold", serves as the backbone to many of these observations.