It has been a big couple of months since Christmas for Softball Australia’s events as the Summer of Softball kicked off on 2 January.
The first month of 2016 saw our states battle it out at the National Championships around Australia, across five different age groups/categories in: Blacktown, NSW; Mirrabooka, WA; and Redlands, Qld. Our 2016 National Championship grand finals were all contested between NSW and Qld, with NSW winning four from five to be the dominant softball state this summer:
|U17 Girls||Esther Deason||New South Wales|
|U17 Boys||Arthur Allsopp||New South Wales|
|U19 Women||Elinor McKenzie||New South Wales|
|U19 Men||Nox Bailey||New South Wales|
Also crowned were our two Regional Champions in the U15 Girls and Boys which were played simultaneously in Queensland (Girls) and NSW (Boys). The girl’s competition started out with 10 teams, resulting in a NSW affair in the final, with NSW Metro Orange taking out the title over Metro Green. The boys’ competition saw Qld Storm edge out Metro Orange to be crowned champions.
As January came to a close, attention turned to our National Teams as they begin preparations on the back of National Championships, vying for selection. The first weekend of February saw New Zealand and Japan’s national teams compete against a split Australian Open Women’s squad at Blacktown, NSW for the Down Under Series International. In an exciting and hotly contested week, the Japanese national team came out victors to take home their first Down Under Series trophy.
Following on from that weekend, the Toyota Red Terriers returned to Australia for the second successive year to conduct spring training in their Professional league’s off season. 19-21 February at Blacktown, the Red Terriers played off in the Down Under Invitational Series against the Aussie Spirit (their last selection event before the World Championship). Red Terriers proved too strong over the six-game series, claiming their second title in as many years over the Aussie girls.
Not slowing down – next stop is the Open Men’s national championship in South Australia. Looking forward to see who is crowned the John Reid Shield national champion!
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Softball Australia National Events Coordinator