With the first pitch of the ballgame, Jen Pawol (prononunced POWELL) became only the seventh female to serve as an umpire in Minor League Baseball, the first since 2007, and the first in the Gulf Coast League since 1978.
Photograph via Minor League Baseball
Pawol was three times an all-conference selection for Hofstra from 1996-1998 and ended her career with a .332 batting average. She continues to hold top-ten rankings in multiple statistical categories in the Pride record books.
The Gulf Coast League is based solely in Florida and is the "Rookie League" stop on the minor-league ladder, the lowest and often-first step in a player's pro career. The GCL season stretches from mid-June to late August and feature seventeen clubs, all named after their Major League parent franchises.