HOBOKEN -- Mayor Dawn Zimmer congratulated the Hoboken Shockers this week on winning the Northern New Jersey division championship. The Babe Ruth 16 and under girls softball team was undefeated in both districts and states and will be playing at the Middle Atlantic Regional Tournament in Egg Harbor this weekend.
Team members Sybil Lynch, Jade Bracero, Natalie Classen, Samantha Maldonado, and Ashley Andujar were also congratulated by Maria Pepe, the Assistant Comptroller for the City of Hoboken and nationally-recognized trailblazer for girls sports. In the 1972, 11 year-old Maria Pepe became one of the first girls to play Little League when she tried out and joined the Young Democrats team at the invitation of coach and now Hoboken Clerk Jimmy Farina, an act ESPN ranks the 5th greatest moment in women's sports. Girls were banned from playing at the time, and after pitching just three games, she stopped playing because Little League threatened to revoke Hoboken's charter. The National Organization for Women (NOW), with the approval of her parents, took up Maria’s cause, and after two years, won the court case in New Jersey which set the stage for Little League to change its charter to allow girls to participate in their programs and led to the creation of a girl's softball league. Maria was too old to continue playing in the league, but millions of girls since have benefited from her actions.
“I am very excited for the girls and appreciate how much it means to them,” said Maria Pepe. “I am proud to see how far the girls softball program has come since the ruling, I still do get choked up about it.”