Mackay softballers Riley James and Tahlee Durelli were selected into the Queensland open men's team and U18 women's team respectively.
Mackay softballers Riley James and Tahlee Durelli were selected into the Queensland open men's team and U18 women's team respectively.

Mackay girl helps team start strong at nationals

SOFTBALL: Mackay’s Tahlee Durelli is on a quest for redemption with the Queensland U18 women’s softball team.

The Queensland team finished sixth from seven in 2019 and Durelli hoped a more experienced squad would change that outcome this time out.

“Last year we had a lot of new girls, me included. But we’re all a bit more experienced (now) which I hope will help,” she said.

The Maroon squad is on the right track this time around after starting the competition with wins against ACT and Western Australia on Sunday.

“This year I’m not as nervous … Queensland usually comes first, but last year it was a whole new team,” she said.

“This year we have a few new faces and a different coach. I think we will be really strong this year because the girls in Brisbane were training really hard before the (rural) girls arrived.”

Durelli is the only Mackay girl in the squad in a roster dominated by Brisbane-based players.

The Mackay product played most of her junior years as a catcher. When she was first selected into a state team for the U15s she was thrust into an unfamiliar role as a pitcher.

Being dropped in the deep end taught Durelli to swim quickly and now she has reprised her role as pitcher with Queensland.

“The coaches that are here helped me a lot and the Brisbane coach kept in touch to help with my pitching,” she said.



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