Play (lesbian) ball! DWSL softball opens [photos]

Add this share


VIEW MORE PHOTOS | Softball Opening Night with Decatur Women’s Sports League

On most Friday nights each spring, you can find Anne Barr in a comfortable lawn chair overseeing nearly 300 people – mostly lesbians – as they play softball on two fields in Decatur. She is, after all, the founder of a women’s softball league that has blossomed into several sports.

imageThe same was true on March 11 as the Decatur Women’s Sports League celebrated the fourth anniversary of launching softball during an emotional Opening Night that included the family of a fallen player. Barr (second photo, right), named a “Woman of Inspiration” by the Atlanta Dream, never stops pushing for more for the league, hoping to one day hold first-pitch ceremonies in their own sports complex.

“I am just thrilled to death about starting the new season,” Barr says. “Every day we are meeting new friends. It’s the new people that keep coming and the people that want to make friendships without hanging out in the bars. Softball is a big part of a lot of lesbians’ lives.”

The March 11 opening of DWSL’s softball league was dedicated to Laura Zekoll, a 46-year-old lesbian who went missing in November after a boating accident. Barr coached a team Zekoll played on before launching the new league in 2007. During the opening ceremonies (top photo), the league retired Zekoll’s jersey and her sister delivered an emotional thanks to Zekoll’s friends and supporters.

image“Laura was one of the first people that was around from day one of this league. If it hadn’t been for Laura, we wouldn’t have this league,” Barr says.

Zekoll’s influence on Barr and others in the league carried well beyond the field. A recovering alcoholic, Zekoll inspired other women around her, Barr says.

“She turned around and helped other women in recovery. She is an inspiration and very humble. She never bragged about anything. I am so sorry for her parents and her sister,” Barr adds.

imageThe Decatur league, besides offering athletic outlets for women in six sports, raises funds for the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. Since its inception, the league has donated about $50,000 to ALHI.

Up next for the league is bowling, which returns in June, and a basketball season in late July or early August. Softball is played each Friday through May 20 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Kelly Cofer Park. (No games are scheduled for April 22.)

“We focus the most on softball because it’s where we started, but we are gong to keep on growing,” Barr says.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...