Waverley and Sunshine have been crowned the respective Women’s and Men’s Under 19 Softball state champions following an enthralling weekend of 2018 Under 19 Softball Victoria State Championships action at Dandenong.
Victoria’s premier junior softball talent was on show across two days of play on Saturday and Sunday, with the event superbly hosted by the Dandenong Softball Association at the Police Paddocks in Dandenong North.
In the Women’s competition, Waverley and Casey emerged from their respective Blue and White Pools as the teams to beat heading into Sunday’s Women’s Cup finals. Both teams went undefeated in their pool games on Saturday and looked to be favourites to reach the Women’s Cup competition decider, although they would have to encounter tough competition against fellow Women’s Cup competitors Werribee (second in the White Pool) and KPDSA/NDSA (second in the Blue Pool) on their way to the Grand Final.
The prospect of tough competition in the Women’s Cup qualifying games didn’t seem to faze Waverley though, who steam rolled through KPSDA/NDSA (12-1), Casey (10-3) and Werribee (15-1) on their way to the final. Casey meanwhile scraped home in a thriller against Werribee (9-8) before conquering KPDSA/NDSA (7-0) to set up what promised to be a close-fought decider.
And so it proved, as Casey pushed Waverley all the way in what was a tremendous showcase of the future softball talent that is set to infiltrate the state’s senior set up in the coming years. In the end, Waverley’s class came to the fore in the big moments to secure a 5-3 victory, and in the process, their second Women’s Cup state championship title in successive years.
The Women’s Plate competition final was an equally impressive spectacle, as Knox (who had finished Saturday’s pool stage at the bottom of the White Pool) won a high-scoring affair against Sunshine by the tightest of margins, 12-11.
Full results and ladders from the Under 19 Women’s State Championships can be found here.
In the Men’s Cup, very little separated Sunshine, Casey and Werribee throughout the round robin stage of the competition on Saturday and Sunday, with each team recording a 3-1 record. Unfortunately for Werribee, it would be Casey and Sunshine who would meet in the Men’s Cup decider as a result of a superior percentage.
Even tipping a winner heading into the Grand Final was a difficult task, with both teams laying justifiable claims to the tag of favourites. Sunshine had won the round robin clash between the two combatants 10-3 on Saturday, but Casey’s evenness across the board allowed them to accumulate a superior runs for and against difference and therefore top seeding following the group stage.
But it was the boys from the west who saved their best performance for last, recording a crushing 7-0 victory to ensure they finished on the successful side of the ledger this time around after going down in the corresponding Men’s Cup Grand Final against Albury Wodonga last year.
Full results and ladders from the Under 19 Men’s State Championships can be found here.
Stay tuned to the Softball Victoria website and all of our social media platforms for images and further recaps from the 2018 Under 19 Softball Victoria State Championships.
Images above: Waverley (featured image, top) and Sunshine were crowned the respective Women’s and Men’s state champions following the 2018 Under 19 Softball Victoria State Championships at Dandenong over the weekend.