Gladdy girls bring the fire at nationals
SOFTBALL: Their respective teams are at contrasting ends of the ladder, but the individual performance of Gladstone stars Kirsty Lester and Annamonet Massey has been strong during the opening three days of the Under-15 Girls National Softball Championships in Perth.
Kirsty's Queensland Fire has three wins, two draws and one loss to its name, while Annamonet's Flames has one win and three losses to date.
The Fire sat fourth on the ladder with Flames ninth at the time of publication.
The Queensland sides took on each other in the third match of the carnival, with the Fire defeating Flames 12-5.
Bronwyn Lester said the all-Queensland affair was played in good spirit.
"They played each other (Sunday) morning. It was good to watch them play each other because they've got a good camaraderie and both teams were working together to play a good game against each other,” she said.
"But it was hard because you need to cheer for both teams.”
The match gave the Gladstone girls a chance to face off against each other, with Kirsty pitching to Annamonet.
"Annamonet got walked, but Kirsty had struck her out twice. The first two balls were strikes and then she pitched four balls - she couldn't quite rope in the last strike,” Lester said.
"Kirsty's been pitching and playing first base. She's held two games down in the first innings to zero and in the first game against NSW Country Gold she took the first out while playing at first base.
"Softball Queensland have been giving the girls equal playing time - you have to spend one half of a game off and then a whole game off because there's 14 girls in the team.
"But Kirsty has been able to play in every game and done what she's needed to do to contribute so the coaches are pleased.”
Lester identified SA Red and NSW Metro Green as the teams to beat in the U15 girls' pool, with the sides chalking up five and four wins respectively while conceding very few runs.
The Fire will play the South Australians today and NSW Metro Green tomorrow, providing a stern test for the girls ahead of the playoffs.
"They'll be extremely hard to beat but the girls will give it a good go. They've been taking every game as it comes,” she said.
The Flames play Metro Green and WA Gold today.
Both teams will play their final pool matches tomorrow before the knock-out stage starts on Thursday, with the grand final at 5.30pm (AEST) on Friday.