Batter up! Even in foggy San Francisco, softball is one of the highlights of the summer. For several years, William Duff Architects has proudly sponsored a team in the San Francisco Architects/Engineers/Contractors Softball League (SFAECSL). This year, WDA’s team is led by steadfast captain Michelle Liu, and bolstered by the play of WDA’s own Brian Hearn and Jim Westover.

SFAECSL’s history dates back to 1978, when a group of architecture and landscape design firms organized a regular weeknight summer softball game with the goals of “getting some exercise, meeting people, and having a good time.” The number of participating teams grew over the years, and in 2000, the league adopted its formal name and passed a resolution to disqualify non-architect, engineer, or contractor teams. The League Administrator began using online scheduling for regular field assignments on San Francisco Rec and Park softball fields. Recently, 28 to 36 teams participate in the league per summer, allowing for playoffs in August in both “competitive” and non-competitive” divisions. Teams are co-ed, requiring a minimum of two women on the field per team. Despite its evolution, SFAECSL remains true to its original goals of exercise, meeting new people, and fun.

WDA has sponsored a team since 2013. Both Liu and Westover have been playing on SFAECSL teams since before they joined WDA, and brought their love of the league with them. Proving that a rec sports league is one way to meet potential employers, Westover had played on a team with Liu, and thought of her when a designer position opened at WDA. Both enjoy different aspects about the game. For Liu, it’s “my favorite time of the year to enjoy the awesome San Francisco weather with the team, and watch the outfielders eye my ball as it sails over their heads!” while for Westover, the fun is in “feeling like a kid playing little league with my friends, some of whom I’ve been playing with for over 20 years.” Hearn has also enjoyed playing on the team since 2012. His favorite part? “A perfect pitch, the crack of the bat, long fly ball and a snag on the run. And of course all the smiles and comradery that goes along with being a part of a team!”

This year, WDA is happy to welcome team members from Speakeasy Brewery, Matarozzi Pelsinger, and FTF Engineering With the support of loveable mascot Kaya – a Pit Bull Australian Shepherd mix, Team WDA’s record is currently 11 and 3. We’ve truly enjoyed being a part of the fun of this San Francisco building community tradition, and look forward to the rest of our games this summer, and in seasons to come. “Non-competitive” defending champs, watch out!

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