Softballers' lofty ambitions
WHENEVER women's softball is played in Rockhampton the names of Trish Dougan and Melinda West seem to be mentioned, and yet the pair are still teenagers.
The talented duo is heading away next week to play for Queensland with the 15-year-old West selected in both the under-17s and 19s while Dougan will be having her final season as an under-19 player.
Surprisingly West is a veteran of the Queensland under-17 team, this being her third year in the squad.
Having initially been selected as a developing player, West is now there as a key performer in the team along with two other players who were members of her first squad.
"I think the 17s are really good team," she said.
They will need to be to beat old rival New South Wales during the national titles, which are being held in Tasmania.
"There is always a lot of passion in those games, you know you have to work hard," she said.
West sees her ability with the bat as the key to her game but nevertheless the youngster is keen to keep improving in all aspects to fulfil some big ambitions.
"I would like to make a national team," she said.
"I will just keep working hard at making that goal."
West joins her under-17 squad in Brisbane on Monday and then flies to Tasmania on Friday before heading to Perth at the conclusion of the tournament.
In Perth West will catch up with 18-year-old Dougan, who goes into camp for the under-19 titles on Sunday.
These days Dougan is something of a veteran in the team and feels the current Queensland squad can do better than last year.
"Last year's team was stronger but this year we have a stronger bond," she said.
Dougan is only occasionally called upon to pitch, concentrating more on her position of short stop.
She is also a bit coy about her batting skills.
"I'm all right," she said with huge grin.
In her final year as an under-19 player she sees a difference in her own game since first selected.
"I was young, I didn't get a fair go now I am more confident," she said.
Dougan is ambitious, wanting a position in the national open team, and it the desire to succeed that could see her play her sport outside the Rockhampton district in the near future.
"Hopefully I won't be playing in Rocky, I would like to try the Brisbane competition," she said.