Greenwood stands alone in NH
Souhegan of Amherst baseball coach Bill Dod has experienced just about everything one can in the game over his 48 years coaching in New Hampshire. He had coached a team with a girl on its roster before Beth Greenwood joined the Sabers two seasons ago but it had been awhile.
More than 20 years ago, Dod served as coach of a Souhegan Valley Indians senior Babe Ruth team that featured a second baseman named Missy Fridleau.
“Missy played second base and I will admit that she, same as Beth, played a hard-nosed game,” Dod said.
Dod had never coached a girl at the high school level until Greenwood joined the program her freshman year. He has never coached against a team featuring a girl over his time as a high school, Babe Ruth and American Legion coach.
Dod began his high school coaching career at Sanborn of Kingston in 1968 and previously coached at Bishop Guertin of Nashua and Milford before arriving at Souhegan. He became the winningest high school baseball coach in state history this past season when he won his 519th career game, a 14-4 Sabers triumph at ConVal of Peterborough on May 16.
New Hampshire High School Baseball Coaches Association President and Londonderry High coach Brent Demas said, to his knowledge, Greenwood was the only girl who played high school baseball in the state last season. Over Demas’ 13 years at Londonderry, the Lancers have never had a girl on their roster.
Nationally, however, girls playing high school baseball is not uncommon. According to a 2011 National Federation of High School Sports Participation Survey, 698 girls played high school baseball that year.
Greenwood, a Souhegan junior varsity catcher, said she has not played against a team with a girl on its roster since she reached the middle school level. Even when the rising junior played in youth leagues growing up, Greenwood played against a team with a girl only once or twice, she said.
Dod said Greenwood’s status as the only girl in Souhegan’s program has never come up in his discussion with his players or fellow coaches.
Over his four years playing catcher at Souhegan, Sam Bannon said it was a pleasure having Greenwood in the program.
“She worked as hard or harder than anybody else and the only difference was the fact that she had a ponytail,” said Bannon.