Melina Serra joins baseball team, making history


The Lynbrook Middle School baseball season started last month, and on deck, making history is Melina Serra, the first female athlete to join the team.

After Lynbrook’s Ally Fitzgerald became the first female in history to compete in the Nassau County wrestling championships, this opened doors to more co-ed sports teams. Now, four years later, Melina became the first ever female athlete to join a Lynbrook school district baseball team. With years of experience on local baseball travel teams, she already has a close bond with her teammates, making her integration onto the team seamless.

“Melina’s mom reached out to Joe, our athletic director, asking if it would be OK for Melina to join the team,” Benedict Tieniber, coach of the middle school baseball team, said. “And we were like ‘Sure. As long as she goes to tryouts and she’s in the top 20, she should be able to make the team.”

Tieniber said that Melina worked really hard during the week-long tryout in late March and early April which earned her a spot on the team.

“She plays outfield and she’s a pitcher,” Tieniber said. “She has a cannon for an arm. She can throw, she can hit, and we’re excited to see where it goes down the line.”

Tieniber ex-plained that the decision to accept her on the team wasn’t based on gender, but rather her athletic ability and her knowledge of baseball. He added that Melina not only had knowledge of the sport, but was able to throw a ball well and hit the ball in different batting situations. That made her one of the 20 best players to try out for the team.

Melina said that she hopes her joining the baseball team will open the doors for more inclusion of female athletes in other male dominated sports. For female athletes who may feel intimidated to play with male athletes, she said that in her opinion, it’s “not really that scary.”

“I’ve been playing with boys my whole life,” she said. “I’ve been playing with them for a very long time.”

This was a culmination of eight years of hard training. For Melina, her favorite part about the sport is making friends along the way. Some of those friends are on the middle school team, whose players, Tieniber said, collaborate with one another very well.

“She’s friends with every one of her teammates,” Tieniber said. “They laugh together, and it’s really nice to see that some of the guys on the team are best friends with her.”

Melina plays centerfield and pitches, two positions that require strength, and she has plenty.

“I’m looking forward to just playing,”