New talent blooded
5 April 2007
Aussie Spirit will blood new talent and keep a close watch on their opposition when the Softball team meets China in a six game women’s national test series this month.
“Aussie Spirit will have to get past China to win gold at the 2008 Olympic Games. This is an excellent opportunity to learn as much as we can about the host country,” said Australian head coach Fabian Barlow.
“China will also be looking to do the same and we must not give too much away whilst obtaining the better result.”
Absent from the team are Australia’s regular pitchers, Olympians Tanya Harding and Melanie Roche, who are playing for their club team in Japan as well as Kelly Hardie and Kelly Jentle.
“Our normal pitchers are overseas during the series and this presents a chance for other players to demonstrate they are Olympic contenders.
“They include Zara Mee, a traveling reserve in Athens who has returned with the intention of making Beijing and Jocelyn McCullum, the 21-year-old Queensland pitching sensation.”
The first of the two-part series commences in Brisbane on 13 – 14 April and concludes in Sydney the following weekend.
In addition to the national contest, the New South Wales state team and the Australian Under 19 Women’s team will meet the Chinese national team, in preparation for the International Softball Federations Junior World Championship.
In May, the senior team travels to Europe for the AIS European Training Camp. The team will meet Italy and the Netherlands in a five games series prior to the Olympic Qualification Tournament for these countries.
“The series also presents the opportunity for the team to compete against a likely Olympic competitor and gain invaluable knowledge about their playing style,” said Barlow.
Meanwhile preparations are underway for the Canada Cup to be held in June/July in Vancouver, which will provide the national squad with more international competition in the lead up to the Olympics.
The team will be selected after the International Series against China.
Aussie Spirit to play in the China/Australia Challenge
Zara Mee, Felicity Witt, Jocelyn McCallum, Tracey Mosley, Kym Tollenaere, Chelsea Forkin, Jodie Bowering, Sandra Allen, Danielle Stewart, Natalie Ward (Captain), Kate Quigley, Kylie Cronk, Kerry Wyborn, Belinda Wright, Melinda Weaver
Aussie Spirit team to tour Europe in May 2007
Zara Mee, Felicity Witt, Jocelyn McCallum, Kelly Hardie, Tracey Mosley, Kym Tollenaere, Danica Howlett, Jodie Bowering, Sandra Allen, Danielle Stewart, Natalie Ward (Captain), Stacey Porter, Kate Quigley, Kate Judd, Melinda Weaver, Belinda Wright, Kylie Cronk