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Aussie softballers on show for Down Under Series

20 January 2017

SOFTBALL: Australian selectors have chosen two women’s teams to tackle high-quality international competition at the Down Under Series in Sydney next month.

A total of 31 players will make up two teams that will each play seven games in a tournament that also features national teams from Japan and New Zealand.

The Down Under Series, to be held in at Blacktown International Sportspark from February 9-12, will include an Australian Squad and an All-Stars team made up of Identified Pathway Athletes.

Chairman of Selectors and Aussie Spirit Head Coach Fabian Barlow says the Down Under Series is an important event, not just for this year’s calendar but also with an eye on the future.

“It’s an opportunity for players on both teams to showcase their skills,” Barlow said.

“And the high level of competition, playing against national teams from Japan and New Zealand, will help our players raise their games to the next level.”

Australian Squad
Janice Blackman (QLD)
Amelia Cudicio (NSW)
Chelsea Forkin (QLD)
Leigh Godfrey (WA)
Sandra Holden (QLD)
Rachel Lack (NSW)
Stacey McManus (NSW)
Kaia Parnaby (NSW)
Samantha Poole NSW)
Stacey Porter (NSW)
Ellen Roberts (NSW)
Justine Smethurst (QLD)
Carmella Sorensen (QLD)
Vanessa Stokes (ACT)
Erin Thras (QLD)
Taylah Tsitsikronis (NSW)
Clare Warwick (ACT)
Belinda White (SA)
 
All-Stars Team
Jess Bahn (VIC)
Maddie Cameron (SA)
Jordyn Christensen (NSW)
Jackie DiSiervi (VIC)
Jemma Freegard (WA)
Simone Freeman (NSW)
Amber Johnson (WA)
Jordan Lambert (SA)
Chelsea Robinson (SA)
Tara Speakman (QLD)
Dorinda Stone (QLD)
Jessica Torpey (QLD)
Brianna Wanke (VIC)

Two more players, Georgia Blair and Tahli Moore, will also be considered Identified Pathway Athletes but are not available for the Down Under Series due to commitments with their US College teams.

With softball back on the Olympic agenda for Tokyo 2020, this will be the first opportunity for Australian coaches to start preparing the group for the 2018 ISF World Championship, which will be Australia’s first opportunity for Olympic qualification.

It promises to be a busy year for women’s softball. While some details are still to be confirmed, the 2017 Open Women’s National Program events will include:

A Grand-Prix Series (March & May) – A series of games over one weekend a month including the Australian Squad athletes, Identified Pathway Athletes and our Under 19 Women’s Team.
Japan Club Tournament (April) – Our Australian Squad will play Japanese club teams as part of their preseason training in Tokyo.
National Pro Fastpitch (May-August) – A group of Australian athletes will have the opportunity to play in the National Pro Fastpitch competition in the USA.
USA Cup & Canada Cup (July) – Identified athletes from the Australian Squad will compete in the USA Cup and Canada Cup competitions
Japan Cup (September) – Identified athletes from the Australian Squad will compete against international teams in Japan.

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