Rockhampton pitchers Nathan Bryant and Eric Hanschen have been selected in the Queensland under-15 boys softball team.
Rockhampton pitchers Nathan Bryant and Eric Hanschen have been selected in the Queensland under-15 boys softball team. Sharyn Oneill

Pitcher-perfect opener for Bryant

NATHAN Bryant wasn’t asking for much, just to win a match.

After managing only a single draw with Rockhampton at the Queensland under-15 softball championships in 2010, Bryant’s goal was to win one match representing his hometown.

“I was hoping we’d at least win the one game,” the 13-year-old said.

The starting pitcher, who plays for the Magpies club in Rockhampton, partnered up with fellow pitcher, Eric Hanschen, 14, in Rockhampton’s opening match of the carnival to blow their opposition off the park.

The pair’s pitching display, combined with an energetic performance in the field, helped Rockhampton to an 8-0 win over Ipswich – and the side’s winning ways did not stop there.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Bryant said.

“But we just kept playing really well.”

Hanschen added: “We had that little bit more experience.”

On day two of the carnival, Rockhampton continued its unbeaten run, notching up a win in its final fixture over eventual champion Toowoomba to progress through to the finals of the championships.

While Rockhampton eventually went down in the final 14-5 to Toowoomba, assistant coach Tanya Abbott said the side had done more than enough.

“They really exceeded expectations and the funny thing is, they looked comfortable doing it,” she said. “They just played really well as a team. Every player just did their job.”

Bryant, Hanschen and the team’s catcher, Jurak Massey, were rewarded for their performances at the carnival with selection in one of Queensland’s three teams to compete at Softball Australia’s under-15s regional championships in Rockhampton from July 6-10.

Meanwhile, an inexperienced girls under-15 Rockhampton team finished in ninth at the championships, but was rewarded with the selection of five players in the Queensland team. Breanna Franks, Dakota Richards, Mikayla Olive and Maddison Smith will suit up for Queensland at the Australian regional championships.



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