The Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball has uncovered its first short form specialists following the Bandits undefeated run through two days of action at Blacktown International Sportspark.
Words: Softball Australia
Sitting four points adrift at the top of the ladder, the Bandits look safely bound for Wednesday night’s finals after they kept their unbeaten record intact defeating the Panthers 6-1 and Riot 10-6.
Janice Blackman has starred for the Bandits making spectacular plays in the field and chalking up four runs so far in the tournament, including one home-run.
When pressed for the Bandits secret to the shorter format of softball, the answer for Blackman is pretty simple and abundantly clear to anyone watching at Blacktown International Sportspark or on FOX Sports Australia’s broadcast.
“Just having fun, we’re all having a lot of fun, these games are only three innings so everything we have left from the last week after the Asia Pacific Cup is just fueling us for these games,” said a beaming Blackman following the Bandit’s second game.
“But it’s a lot of fun, all of the girls are getting along so well, it’s been a really great couple of days already.”
With the international makeup of the squads meaning former competitors in the Asia Pacific Cup are now teammates and the Bandits haven’t taken long to find their groove with their group of players from Japan, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, Italy and Australia.
“It’s a bit different playing with some of the girls we were playing against last week, but even the language barrier is not even an issue at this point, our body language is speaking more than words at the moment.
“We’re all up every single batter, no matter who’s on the bench, we’re just up and loud, I think the language barrier could be an issue for other teams but for us, as you can probably tell, our body language has been working really well for us.”
After two days of the new format, Blackman can definitely see the Fully Loaded Softball version of the game taking off in junior ranks.
“I can really see it being played at a junior level because it’s just so much fun, it gives the girls a bit of time to let off some steam too, especially girls who are ‘slappers’ and not really classified as home-run hitters as people say,” added Blackman who’s enjoying letting fly with the bat in the Summer Slam.
“I’m a slapper myself so I don’t really get that privilege to hit so in this tournament I’m just hitting as hard as I can, I know sometimes I’m missing and sometimes I get it but I’m still having fun.”
The Emeralds and Lightning sit behind the Bandits, both on nine points with three regualr fixture games remaining.
Following the second day of the Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball Series, the ladder is as follows:
Games start Wednesday at 3:45pm AEDT with live coverage on FOX SPORTS Australia and Kayo from 5pm AEDT.