The new cricket season is just weeks away and, playing in tandem with the Tolchards Devon Cricket League, the Devon Women’s Softball League is all set for 2023 to be its biggest year ever.  

The League only began in 2021 and now, just two years since the inception, Women’s softball in Devon will boast 24 teams across four divisions spread across the County.  

Women’s and Girls’ Development Officer Ann-Marie Presswell spoke to the DCL Website: "Since the start of the Devon Women's Softball League in 2021, the number of teams entering has increased fourfold.

"The desire for women to organise, play, coach and officiate their own sport has driven this growth and it has been an honour to be able to facilitate that." 

The structure of the four divisions will be: South Division – Abbotskerswell, Brixham, Exmouth, Paignton, South Devon, Teignmouth and Shaldon.

Central Division – Alphington and Countess Wear, Exeter, Exmouth, Exwick, Heathcoat, Thorverton.

Northwest Division – Braunton, Hatherleigh, Holsworthy, Cornwood, Ivybridge, Moorland Maidens.

East Division – Budleigh Salterton, Cullompton, Culmstock, Exmouth 1, Exmouth 2, Ottery St Mary. 

The response across Devon has been fantastic, and especially at Exmouth, where they have seen such great interest that the club is able to enter four separate teams. 

The Moorland Maidens are another great story. Lesley Thompson from Buckland Monachorum described to the DCL website how they worked with Yelverton Bohemians to form the team: "For many years we have sat at the sidelines and watched the game.

"We never thought we could be part of a team, playing the sport that we love and now we can!

"There are so many roles to play as well, so if you cannot play you can score or umpire and still be involved. The presence of the women has raised the profile of the club."   

Caroline Wilson, from Filleigh, discussed the growth of softball in North Devon: "We have had women and girls returning to the club after being away - new people who want to become actively involved in the club.

"It has empowered the women and they are thrilled to be able to be more than spectators.”