The title for the best softball association in the state will be up for grabs at the 2018 Victorian Softball Championships in Albury this weekend.
Hosted by the Albury Wodonga Softball Association, Victoria’s premier softball athletes will descend on Jelbart Park across two days of competition on Saturday and Sunday on the hunt for State Championship glory.
Highlighting the quality amongst the 17 association teams competing across both the Women’s and Men’s tournaments is the fact eight 2018 Victorian Titans (Victorian Open Women’s Team) and eight 2018 Victorian Open Men’s team representatives have been named to take part.
The Women’s competition will see teams split into two separate divisions, Cup and Plate, with the winner of the Cup division crowned the title of state champions.
In the absence of 2017 State champions Sunshine, Dandenong are expected to be amongst the title favourites in the Women’s Cup after finishing runner-up last year. A Waverley outfit featuring Titans trio Nicole Martin, Kylie Steemers and Alys Young will pose a significant threat to Dandenong’s title ambitions, while the competition’s two remaining teams in Werribee and Waverley will also give themselves a strong chance of featuring in finals calculations come Sunday afternoon.
The Women’s Plate competition consisting of hosts Albury Wodonga, Knox, Keilor Park, Geelong and Glen Eira looks to be a very open field, with any number of those teams capable of taking home the trophy on the day. On paper however, Glen Eira look to have depth of class within their squad to contend the strongest, headlined by the inclusion of Jackie Di Siervi and Jess Bahn who have both been involved with national team set-ups in recent years.
The Men’s competition will be split into two separate pools (Blue and White), before the top two teams from each pool go into the Open Cup division to decide the state champion team. The remaining teams (third and fourth ranked from each pool) on the other hand will battle it out in the Open Plate division.
In the Men’s Blue Pool, last year’s champions in Waverley will be out to make it back-to-back state titles, while their 2017 Grand Final opponents in Geelong will be looking to turn the tables and make a statement as one of the teams to beat from the White Pool.
Keilor Park is another team to look out for in the White Pool, with the likes of Australian Steelers representative Lewis Weldon and recently announced Australian Under 19 squad member Marcus Ferraro amongst their squad. In the Blue Pool, Ferraro’s fellow Australian Under 19 squad mates in Cambell Utatao, Tristan Little and Jordan Miller will form the basis of a strong team unit for Casey, joining Victorian Men’s team representatives Jayden Bamford, Alex Chapman and Aaron Hare within their squad.
To access the full draw and live ladder which will be updated across the weekend for both the Victorian Women’s and Men’s Softball Championships, head to the dedicated State Championships page on the Softball Victoria website.
Stay tuned also to the Softball Victoria website and social media platforms for results and images from the 2018 Victorian Softball Championships as they come to hand!