By Maren Angus – Fastpitch Network
Diversity is, according to the dictionary, “A range of different things.”
Since Connie May tweeted from the ScrapYard Dawgs account resulted in the entire team walking out, diversity has been a topic of discussion from coast-to-coast in softball.
For softball, diversity comes in the form gender, religion, race and sexual orientation. Fastpitch Network reached out to Dr. Dot Richardson of Liberty, Tamara Statman of the Israeli National Team, Jessie Scroggins of Black Girls Ball, Rajaa Wilcox (Howard), Christian Conrad (Florida State), and Libby Sugg (BYU).
Over the next three weeks, Fastpitch Network will host a weekly Q&A session with the panel members. The fourth week will be a Zoom Q&A hosted by Fastpitch Network and open to the public.
Meet the Panel
Richardson is in her seventh year at Liberty University and is considered on of the most decorated players in softball history. She won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996 and 2000, five Pan-American gold medals and four World Championship gold medals. She was a five-time collegiate All-American and was inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame in 2006. Her husband, Bob Pinto, is the National Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Softball Ministry. She also serves as a board chair.
Statman was a four-year letter winner at Arizona and is a member of the Israeli Women’s National Team. Since graduating in 2019, she has worked at Cumulus Media, taught for the Tucson Unified School Distract and given lessons in the Tucson area. She is also a black belt, a world-ranked ballroom dancer, a podcast co-host and Miss Tucson del Sol.
Scroggins is a graduate assistant coach at UT-Dallas and retired from National Pro Fastpitch in January. She was the 2017 Defensive Players of the Year and league’s Rookie of the Year. At Baylor, she was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big 12 selection. She recently co-founded Black Girls Ball, an inclusive place that provides a safe space for black softball players through mentorship and education.
Wilcox is a junior at Howard in Washington D.C. She is from Philadelphia, Penn.. She is black and Muslim. In 2019, she started 31 of 40 games for the Bison. She batted .139 with three doubles and three runs batted in. She played in four games during 2020’s shortened season.
Conrad is a Volunteer Coach at Florida State, a member of Cherokee Nation and the LGBTQ community.
Sugg is a Mormon from Franklin, Tenn., who recently graduated from BYU. She ranks No. 1 in career sacrifice flies, No. 2 in RBIs and doubles, No. 4 in slugging percentage and No. 5 in walks and home runs. She was also drafted ninth overall in the 2019 American Softball Association draft.