Rockhampton’s Breanna Franks gets some power behind her hit at Kele Park while playing for Queensland Flames yesterday.
Rockhampton’s Breanna Franks gets some power behind her hit at Kele Park while playing for Queensland Flames yesterday. Allan Reinikka

Softballers join up at nationals

ROCKHAMPTON'S top under-15 softballers joined forces with Queensland’s best at yesterday’s opening day of the Australian under-15 Girls’ and Boys’ Regional Championship at Rockhampton’s Kele Park.

Fifteen teams from across the country took to the Kele Park’s eight diamonds with players from Rockhampton and Gladstone playing their part in Queensland’s promising start to the carnival.

Gladstone’s Jurak Massey helped Softball Queensland Regional Academy Storm to a first up 18-7 win in their opening match of the carnival against Country New South Wales.

Massey then played his part as catcher for the Storm to narrow 12-10 win in the second match of day one over fellow Queensland side, the Cyclones, which features Rockhampton softballer Nathan Bryant.

In the girls’ action, local girl Madison Smith suits up for Queensland Fire during the carnival, while Tia Waters and Breanna Franks partner in the Queensland Flames team.

Dakota Richards is the lone Rockhampton girl in the Queensland Flickers team, but is joined by Rockhampton coach Tanya Abbott.

Softball Queensland Operations Manager Nigel Hooper, who has coordinated the championships, said the first day’s play was a huge success.

“It’s been fantastic. The kids are absolutely loving it and there’s a great atmosphere around the place and in particularly in and around the dug outs,” Hooper said.

“The kids will be over their first day nerves and we’re looking forward to seeing some quality softball over the next couple days.”

Five of the six Queensland teams registered wins on day one of the carnival.

Abbott, whose Flickers team finished the day with a win and a loss, said the first day’s play was a great learning curve for a lot of the young players.

“It’s a big eye-opening experience for kids that haven’t played at this level before, and that’s what the carnival is all about,” she said.

“It gives kids an idea as to how complex softball can be at a higher level.”

 

Today’s matches:

9am – Girls - QLD Flames v QLD Fire, F3; Boys - QLD Storm v Sydney Metro Green, F2; QLD Cyclones v Sydney Metro Blue, F4.

11am – Girls - QLD Flickers v Sydney Metro Blue, F1; QLD Flames v SEMSA, F3; Boys - QLD Thunder v QLD Storm, F2.

1pm – Girls - QLD Fire v Sydney Metro Green, F1; Boys - QLD Cyclones v Country NSW, F2; QLD Thunder v Sydney Metro Green, F4.

3pm – Girls - QLD Flickers v Country NSW, F3; QLD Flames v Canberra Gold, F7; Boys - QLD Cyclones v Sydney Metro Blue, F2.



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