Montreat College, a “liberal arts Christian college” in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, has a baseball team. With only 450 students, Montreat can’t field that great a baseball team, but they’ve got a respectable one. The team won 35 games this year and lost 18. But the coach of the baseball team is apparently not bound by traditional gender rules. Oh no. He recently offered an athletic scholarship to Marti Sementelli, a female pitcher.

According to an article by Tyler Norris Goode in the Asheville Citizen-Times:

[Baseball Coach Michael] Bender said he’s received unpleasant emails from Montreat alumni as well as current players threatening to transfer because he extended a collegiate opportunity to a female pitcher from Birmingham High School in Lake Balboa, Calif.

“We’re not the only school that’s offered her a scholarship,” Bender said. “I’m giving her an extremely low amount of money to come here and play JV baseball. The level of high school baseball she plays in California is better than the JV level you play at small Christian colleges. I don’t mean the varsity level; I mean the JV level.”

Unlike the situation in other sports, collegiate baseball players can be female. That’s allowed. But according to the coach, “a lot of people question my integrity through all this just for the simple, ignorant, simpleton fact that they can’t look past that she’s a female.”

They haven’t seen her pitch:

Sementelli hasn’t signed a letter of intent or indicated she plans to attend Montreat in the fall.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer