Victoria secured the U14 Boys’ Regional Championship on Saturday afternoon in a stellar 12 – 1 victory over NSW Metro Orange in four innings.
Heading into the final day at Macarthur, Victoria finished off the regular fixture with a 10 – 1 win over QLD Thunder – landing them in second place at the end of regular competition.
Coming into the finals series with strong momentum, the Boys’ mental strength came into play in their 8 – 6 semi-final win over NSW Metro Green – progressing through to the grand final.
After an electric start in the decider, the Boys’ pushed further ahead and never looked back as they raced away as victors.
Speaking to SV Media after the game, Head Coach Belinda Ainslie was lost for words in her excitement for the Boys’ achievement.
“Super excited for the Boys, it was all them, they brought it together when they needed to… and did the job today. It’s fantastic,” she said.
With the rain in Blacktown delaying proceedings throughout the week, the finals fixture changed, but Ainslie said everyone stuck to the team’s processors.
“The organisers did a fantastic job in making sure we got all our games in, it changed the structure of the draw, but the Boys all got behind each-other and made it work.”
With grand final opponents NSW Metro Orange defeating Victoria twice over the week, the Boys were forced to leave nothing on the diamond in the decider.
“The other two times we faced NSW Metro Orange throughout the week, they beat us in the dying stages of those two games.” Ainslie said.
“But we weren’t going to let anything hold us back, and were on edge the whole time.”
“In the final we only had a 5 – 1 lead for three of those innings and only started to push away in the fourth. I have to give full credit to our opposition, no game was easy and I’m really proud with how our Boys’ hung together.”
With Victoria earning their first National Championship triumph in over a decade, Ainslie credited the state junior program and is proud of what the win means for softball in Victoria.
“There’s been a lot of hard work across the junior development at Softball Victoria. How all the Victorian junior teams have presented gives me so much pride.”
“It’s not just about the win, but it shows that we as ‘Victoria’ are rebuilding and the talent coming through is so exciting.”
“I want to thank my support team – Kathy (Assistant Coach), Taryn and Liz (Team Managers) and Emily (Statistician) – it was all a team effort from our end.”
“And of course to the players who all did something throughout the week that stood out, which makes my memories of the week all the more special.”
“Lastly, thank you to the players’ families, they couldn’t get to training and physically here this week without that family support.”