Pitching in paying off
SOME sports people seem to have been around for ever and Trish Dougan is one such person yet she is still just 17 years of age.
The star softballer has recently been named in the Queensland Girls under-19 team. It is the second time she has gained selection at the level yet she is still eligible for the team again next year.
She doesn’t want the journey to end there. “I hope to play for Australia,” she said.
Dougan is a quiet achiever, reluctant to talk up her ability but confident enough to set her playing career goals.
The teenager has been named in the Queensland squad as a pitcher after assisting the Rockhampton under-19 team to a groundbreaking state tournament win recently.
She admits that win was particularly satisfying.
“It was the best feeling ... after last year’s grand final (loss) and then come back to win,” she said.
Dougan said going into the tournament she was not confident Rocky could pull off the win.
“When the team was picked I wasn’t that confident, but when we beat Brisbane first up, that changed as they were the team that beat us in last year’s final,” she said.
Despite being a young side, Dougan said players in the Rockhampton team have been together for a while.
“We know each other really well,” she said.
Even better for local administrators, the majority of that team is eligible to play under-19s again next year.
Dougan has been playing softball for 10 years.
“My mum used to play,” the young star said.
But now the focus for Dougan is January and the national championships.
“New South Wales is the team to beat; the tournament is on their home ground,” she said.
Then with a grin she promised, “We’ll take them”.
Winning in Queensland colours is one goal but also on the agenda is selection to the national team.
Dougan said selectors will name a development squad to prepare for the Under-19 World Softball Championships in South Africa.
The rising Rocky star has had some top mentors helping her along the way.
She said Rockhampton Softball president Tanya Abbott and coach Luke Waters have helped develop her as a player and more recently Olympian Kylie Cronk.
“I didn’t know her when I was younger but she trained us last year, she really knows what she is talking about,” Dougan said.
Next season Dougan is planning to play her club softball with Capricornia once again.
“It’s the only club I have ever played for,” she added.