Rise Up: Professional Softball Heads To New York


In the growing world of women’s sports, New York just got its first professional softball team, the New York Rise. Based on Long Island with their home field being none other than the Pride of Long Island, Hofstra University. 

“I just felt like there was a void in the pro softball level.” Owner of the team Jeff Ahn said about building this team and environment for players and New York. “Players were done with college; they just didn’t have a place to play at the pro level. So for me either I could complain about it or I can do something about it so I just decided to throw my hat in the ring and bring a pro softball market to New York.” With the rise of love for Women’s sports, especially softball, with the college World Series and Oklahoma being a force to be reckoned with the past four years, they hope to bring a new outlet now at the pro level in New Yorkers to come and enjoy. 


“People gotta pay attention to the women…it’s entertaining, fast, lots of energy, and they can play,” said Head coach of the Rise, Rodney McCray, also known as “The Crash.” McCray has been coaching for 25 years and this is his first time ever getting the opportunity to coach women’s softball at the pro level. He is full of life, energy, and you can really see his love and passion for this sport and new team. 

Over to the women who make it all happen on the field, here is what Long Island native Jenna Laird, shortstop for the Rise, had to say about this team and what it means to her. “It was kind of a dream for me…I went to school in Missouri and I’m from Long Island and when I found out there was gonna be a team here I knew I had to be a part of it. I can finally play in front of my friends and family who haven’t been able to see me play live for the last four years so it’s not only a dream for me but for them as well.” And for Nicole Mendes, outfielder from Houston Texas, her love for this team stemmed from the outpouring passion from the organization. “For me the biggest thing is Jeff. What he is doing with this team and how he is investing and also him being a softball fan so let’s find a way to make this profitable and have a plan that will grow.” 

Their first home game will be this Monday, July 1st at 7pm against the Florida Vibe at Bill Edward’s Stadium, Hofstra University. Come out and support this amazing new team and be a part of what they can hope to be the start of an amazing franchise.