From February through to April 2020, Victorian associations will contend for State Championship glory.
Whilst the Region model of representative softball will be implemented at Under 16 and 18 level, the Under 14 and Open age State Championships remain as Association based events.
The Under 14 State Championships take place from Saturday 15-16 February at Keilor Park & District Softball Association, featuring the state’s rising junior contingent.
Rounding out the Summer is the Open State Championships, which are heading to Waverley Softball Association from the 4-5 April. Some of the best senior Men and Women in the state will represent their respective associations.
In recent years, Waverley and Dandenong have both had a stranglehold on the Open events. Waverley in the Women’s Cup and Dandenong in the Men’s Cup, both having earned back-to-back titles in 2018 & 2019 and are firmly eyeing the coveted three-peat in their respective divisions.
A major part of Waverley’s success is Titans star Milli Mercuri, who hopes to continue the association’s winning form on home soil in April.
“It’s very exciting, I feel like we have a really good support network wherever we play, but generally being at home more supporters show up from the community and we play with that confidence that it’s our turf,” Mercuri said.
“Most of the Titans team will be playing for their associations at the state championships, there will be a few from everywhere, Glen Eira Moorabbin, Werribee, Frankston, Knox, Casey and Waverley.”
Mercuri believes Casey is the biggest contender to pinch the title away from Waverley, saying there’s plenty of strong youth who have burst to the scene in recent years.
“Casey is always a threat, most of the younger players that have come through the state programs have come from Casey and Waverley,” she said.
With the under 14 event also on the horizon, Mercuri shared some great advice for junior softballers who have aspirations to represent Victoria in years to come.
“The junior programs and the state championships are really good to get kids involved in playing a high level of softball. My message to the under 14s is to keep pushing, keep trailing and playing.” Mercuri said.
“When I look at the Titans players, I can bet you that most have been left out from a team before, and if we stopped, we wouldn’t be where we are now.”
“Just do your best, we play softball to have fun so that’s the main thing.”
Stay tuned to Softball Victoria’s website and associated social media channels for more updates on the 2020 State Championships in the coming weeks.