Softball season started early for a number of our younger players when they represented New Zealand as part of the International Softball Academy at tournaments in Sydney over the last 14 days.
For the last six weeks, prior to going away, our four local players trained four times a week. They also took part in warm-up games in Sydney for a few days before their respective tournaments.
Playing in the Girls U18 Blue Blaze Tournament from Sept 30 to Oct 3, 16-year-old Atawhaia Whiu had a great tournament playing in all of her team’s games either as catcher or designated batter.
Lucas Mullings (catcher), Kiarn Prentice (infielder) and Jalen Johnston (outfielder) played in the New South Wales Blues Junior Boys Tournament from October 9-11. The boys performed well and individually have gained much from the experience.
These boys were joined by Canterbury-based players Liam Egan, Mitchell Dierck and Hayden Perriam who have been pick up players for the South Canterbury Boys Softball rep teams for the last three seasons.
Nyrissa Dysart played locally for Development team last season and has since moved to Christchurch. She was also selected for ISA and played alongside Atawhaia in Sydney.
All eight players have been coached by one of our top local coaches, Adrian Whiu, playing either for their school, club or representative team. He attended both tournaments as a spectator and was impressed with the skills they all displayed and the progress they have made in their own games.
One of our other local coaches, former Black Sox pitcher Greg Newton, also attended the boys’ tournament as battery coach, assisting the pitchers and catchers.
Softball season begins on October 22 with a slow pitch competition. – Supplied/Keri Murphy, Secretary South Canterbury Softball