Mankato becomes 2nd entry, joining La Crosse for 2024 season
Rochester, Minn. — A new brand is coming to the Northwoods in 2024 and Mankato, Minn. will be a part of history when ISG Field helps usher in the first for-profit Women’s Summer Collegiate Softball League.
Mankato team officials announced at a press conference at ISG Field today that Mankato will be an inaugural participant in Northwoods League Softball beginning play in 2024.
“I believe this announcement is one of the most significant developments in women’s collegiate athletics in a long time,” exclaimed Mankato co-owner Dan Kapanke, who was a driving force in helping form the new league and whose team in La Crosse, Wisc. was the first to announce entry for 2024. “We are excited to be on the cutting edge of something that is going to be very special.”
Much like the baseball circuit, all softball players who have college eligibility remaining will be eligible to play in the League as well as select graduated high school players who have been admitted to college.
A 40-game season will begin in mid-June and run until early August. Recruitment of the inaugural Mankato softball team will begin immediately.
Northwoods League Softball President/Commissioner Kathryn Reynolds shared her excitement around Mankato joining the upstart league. “Northwoods League Softball is delighted to welcome Mankato to the League for our inaugural season. The outstanding facilities at ISG Field will provide a special experience for players, coaches, and community members and we are so honored by the opportunity to be a part of the rich softball history in Mankato.”
Fans can get involved in Mankato’s newest team in a variety of ways including submitting a team name for consideration as the team is conducting a “Name the Team Contest” where submissions can be entered beginning today at mankatosoftball.com. Submissions will be accepted through November 3rd after which time the selection of five team name finalists will be unveiled and put up for a fan vote online. The fan that submits the winning team name will receive two free season tickets for the inaugural 2024 season and the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a game next summer.
Fans may also find ticket, partnership, host family and employment information at mankatosoftball.com or by calling 507-625-7047. Mankato Softball operations will be in the same office building as the Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club at 1219 and 1221 Caledonia Street, Mankato.
Additional teams will be announced in the coming weeks by the League at northwoodsleague.com. Potential players and coaches can also visit the site to apply to play or coach.
Leveraging the 30-year success of the Northwoods League, the first for-profit Summer Collegiate Baseball League, Northwoods League Softball (NWLS) will be the first for-profit Women’s Summer Collegiate Softball League beginning play in the Upper Midwest in the summer of 2024. The purpose of the League will be to develop players for their college, Olympic and future professional play. Teams will be promoted similar to minor league baseball teams, playing games in front of fans in a fun, friendly, family-oriented environment.