Ghazaleh Sailors had some serious trouble sleeping on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Her excitement was revealed in a Sunday morning Facebook post that read: “330 AM, anybody want to play catch?”

Monday couldn’t come soon enough for the native of Santa Barbara, California. That’s because she was about to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Sailors, who for the last two years has been the only woman playing college baseball in the United States, signed a contract to play professionally.

“I’ve been waiting for this day since I was like 3 years old, so I can’t believe this finally happened,” she said on Monday night.

“None of this would be possible without my teammates, coaches, and everyone else who always told me, “Yes you can,” she said on Facebook. “I hope in years to come I see many other girls who have been blessed like I have.”

Sailors, whose friends call her “Oz,” is a 5-foot-4 right-handed pitcher. The fitness and wellness major signed a contract to play for the Virginia Marlins of the World Baseball Pro League.

She said the opportunity arose after she pitched well against Averett University whose coach, Ed Fulton, is the brother of Marlins manager and GM Frank Fulton.

The 22-year-old Sailors signed the contract in the presence of UMPI head coach Mike Pankow, UMPI President Linda Schott and coordinator of athletic training education Barbara Blackstone.

Her collegiate career ended with an emotional Saturday night at Old Orchard Beach.

“I’m not going to lie, there was crying in baseball on Saturday night,” Sailors said. “The guys all gave me a hug or shook my hand. I absolutely lost it.”

In Virginia, Sailors will again be the only female player on her team, one that is made up of post-collegiate-age players who wish to pursue pro ball.

According to the WBPL website, participants pay a $495 player fee plus $350 per month for hotel, breakfast and other amenities. Players also must provide their own equipment, along with money for other meals.

Players earn their money through sponsorships, which can yield $650 or more, per month, per $1,000 in sponsorships.

“A lot of independent leagues are like that,” Sailors explained.

Sailors has spent four years playing baseball at UMPI. This season, she posted an 0-5 record with a 12.71 earned run average in eight appearances covering 28⅓ innings.

“I am obviously excited for Ghaz and this opportunity,” Pankow said. “She has pitched some of her best baseball this season and I am confident she will find success in Virginia. She will also be able to continue to inspire young women across the country that want to play baseball.”

Perhaps the highlight of her senior season came on April 14, when Sailors pitched against the Division I University of Maine for the third time.

“It was good, I went six innings and gave up four earned runs,” she said of the Black Bears’ 6-0 win. “The last couple years we’ve gotten smacked by them.”

Sailors earned two college pitching wins and, according to the NCAA, she is among only a handful of women ever to have claimed an NCAA baseball victory on the mound.

In 2013, she beat Eastern Maine Community College of Bangor. Last year, Sailors then was the winner in a 2014 contest against NCAA Division III provisional member Valley Forge Christian College in Pennsylvania.

She is gearing up for busy year of baseball and travel. After graduation on May 16, she will travel to Guam to conduct a girls baseball clinic.

Upon her return, she will serve as a director for a Baseball for All girls (ages 11-13) baseball national tournament in Florida. Her stint in the WPBL runs from July from September, when she plans to begin playing pro baseball in Australia.

“I know Ghazaleh will succeed, and I am confident that she will keep busting down doors for women in baseball,” Pankow said. “Today’s signing was a historic event, and I am very proud of Ghaz and all she has accomplished.”

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...