Former Hofstra softball student-athlete Jen Pawol made history last week when she became the first female umpire in the Gulf Coast League (GCL) since 1978 and the first female umpire in Minor League Baseball since 2007.
Pawol made her debut on Friday, June 24 when she worked the GCL Blue Jays versus GCL Tigers game in Dunedin, Fla.
Pawol, who played for Hofstra from 1996 to 1998, attended the 2016 Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy in Vero Beach, Fla. She was selected for the MiLB Advanced Course, where the top candidates from The Umpire Academy qualify for further training. Her performance in the Advanced Course led to her assignment to the Gulf Coast League.
“Jen worked extremely hard during the Umpire Training Academy and proved herself during a very competitive Advanced Course to earn this assignment,” said Minor League Baseball Director of Umpire Development Dusty Dellinger. “We are pleased to have someone of her talent joining the professional umpiring ranks and I’m confident she’ll do a great job.”
A three-time all-conference selection, Pawol played in 161 games for Hofstra and posted a career totals of 169 hits, 109 runs scored, 102 runs batted in, 15 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 33 walks. She batted .332 for her career and her nine career triples ranks 10th all-time in program history and her 15 stolen bases in 1998 is good for eighth on the single season chart.
During her career with Hofstra, the teams posted a combined 110-51 record and a spectacular 33-3 record in North Atlantic/America East Conference play.
Pawol will become the seventh woman to umpire a Minor League Baseball game, joining Bernice Gera (1972), Christine Wren (1975-77), Postema (1977-89), Theresa Cox Fairlady (1989-91), Ria Cortesio (1999-2007) and Shanna Kook (2003-04).
Story courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications; photo courtesy Minor League Baseball via Hofstra