Friendly rivalry takes Mackay softballers to state level
THREE Mackay softballers were picked for the Queensland's U14 Regional Academy Softball Squads for the 2019/20 season.
Ella Kersey, James Allen and Kacee Shultz are set to train with the best softballers of their age group in efforts to make the Queensland squad for the U14 Australian Regional Championships in 2020.
The trio were named as members of their respective squads after putting on stand-out performances during selection opportunities at the recent U14 State Softball Championships.
First timer at a state level, Ella Kersey was jumping at the opportunity.
The young catcher said it was her close friend and club teammate Kacee Shultz that motivated her.
"I've been following Kacee's footsteps and trying to get where she is,” she said.
The duo have had a long lasting "friendly rivalry” which Ella hopes will take them to the national stage.
"She is always a pitcher and I'm always catcher.
"So when we get onto the diamond we know what each-other wants to do,” she said.
Ella said she looked forward to the step-up in competition.
"Some of the girls that have been selected are so much more qualified than me,” she said.
"I feel like if they're at that level I can be as well, because I'm at the stage where I'm growing and improving each day.”
Kacee hopes to don the Queensland jersey for the second time, following her first campaign two years ago in the U11 competition.
While the 13-year-old pitcher was an inspiration for Ella, she said her motivation was her older sisters.
"I'm following my two older sisters, Nakita and Hayley,” she said.
"They've only made it to a rep team like me, so I'm hoping to beat that.”
Despite being on his lonesome, the only boy selected in the squad, James said he welcomes the challenge.
"I've definitely improved in batting and fielding, so I've done quite well to get up to this level,” he said.
James has shown skill in other sports, but he is hoping softball is where he makes his mark.
"It's been the one that has helped me do a lot of things and get me up to higher levels,” he said.
The squads will attend camps in May and October where the final teams to compete at the U14 Australian Regional Championships in January 2020 will be selected.