Rookies the key to softball success

Published on PTE Renee Breeze (author), CPL Max Bree (photographer)

Location(s): Brisbane, Queensland

Topic(s): Softball

Australian Navy Physical trainer, Chief Petty Officer Donna Edge, playing for Southern States, eyes the ball for a hit while batting against Queensland during a game at the Australian Defence Force Softball National tournament in Brisbane. (photo: CPL Max Bree)
Australian Navy Physical trainer, Chief Petty Officer Donna Edge, playing for Southern States, eyes the ball for a hit while batting against Queensland during a game at the Australian Defence Force Softball National tournament in Brisbane.

Rookies dominated the diamond when the 'Southern States' women’s team swept to victory in searing Brisbane heat at the Australian Defence Force interstate softball competition at the start of the month.
 
Despite varying levels of experience, women from across the country fielded two softball teams. Their male counterparts competed in four teams.
 
Multi-skilled women’s player from team 'Matene' Petty Officer Marine Technician Vicki Gray met her teammates on the Monday, and the team went on to win the grand final 16-6 against team 'Dagg' on Saturday.
 
“Both teams had good pitchers, good batters and good fielding sides, so it was really competitive,” Petty Officer Gray said.
 
“I don’t think a lot of us were expecting to win that final because we’d won the first game and lost the next three."
 
“We just encouraged each other and kept in there, and we ended up finishing nice and strong to win the final."
 
In the men’s competition, South-East Queensland won 7-5 in the grand final against North Queensland.
 
Assistant coach Petty Officer Electronics Technician Chris Murray said despite not placing in the final he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with the players.
 
“We only had three guys that knew how to play softball,” Petty Officer Murray said.
 
“Hopefully they will join local teams and build their skills, so when they come back next year they’re better players."

An Australian Defence Force side was selected to play against the Brisbane Softball Association during a friendly match after the competition.
 
Petty Officer Murray said inexperience was responsible for their subsequent loss against Brisbane.
 
“We knew Brisbane were going to bring a really good side; most of them play state softball,” he said.
 
“We’ve beaten them for the last two years and given them a smashing, so they brought a young kid that could really pitch."
 
“He was throwing 110km/h, which is pretty quick for softball,” Petty Officer Murray said.