Left-hander’s lethal pitching nets Qld squad selection
JAXON Maluga’s left-arm lasers have netted him a place in the Queensland U14 Boys Softball squad following a successful individual showing at the State Championships at Carina.
Though his Mackay side finished eighth at the championships, Jaxon’s quality pitching caught the eye of the Queensland selectors and he has been invited into the selection camp in January next year.
Still just 12 years old, it was Jaxon’s second time competing at the U14 State Championships and his maiden selection in the Queensland squad.
Proud mum Jess Martin, who coached the U14 Mackay side at Carina, said the natural left-hander boasted an enviable skill set when on the mound.
“Being a left-handed pitcher is a little bit of an asset in softball,” Martin explained.
“Most batters are right-handed. So it comes in looking like it’s going towards you, which can put the batter off.”
After a successful local season playing for Hawks in the U14 and U16 competitions, Jaxon is now busy honing his pitching craft ahead of the January selection camp.
For the first time, he will seek guidance from someone other than his mum.
“I’m not sure who will train him yet, but we’ll probably get someone else to, because I’ve been his mum and coach for the past 10 years,” Martin said.
“I think that’s more to his benefit so that he can learn to listen and learn off other experienced coaches.
“If he does make the team he will be with people he barely knows, so that experience will be important.”
This week, an U18 Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone combined side finished runners-up at the State Championships in Toowoomba.
The team dropped just two games during the tournament, both to eventual champions Logan City-Redlands.