Elinor McKenzie Shield
11 – 17 January, West Beach SA
In front of a home crowd, South Australia has finally got another National Championship, our first since 2006!
Four National Titles our now in the cabinet and three are U19 Womens.
Here is a report from Head Coach, Andrew Preiss
It was expected that the power sides like NSW, QLD would set the pace early as they do every year while us, WA, ACT and VICs would be aiming for the last 2 spots in the top 4 at the end of the minor rounds. It being a selection year for the under 19 world’s team was also going to ensure the level of competition was going to be high.
We finished the minor round in 4th position and scraped into the finals on the last day. Our first opponent in the playoff round was WA on the Friday evening which we won 4-2. On Saturday morning we faced off against the top team after the minor round, NSW. Ebony McLean hit in the first run of the game with a shot out to right field and in the same inning a costly error from the NSW 2nd base player cost 2 runs off an Elly Beal hit and we won 3-1 and a place in the Grand Final.
The Grand Final was dominated by the defence of both teams and went to an 8th Inning tie breaker locked at 0-0. Emma Burridge and Beal combined with a hit each and two throwing errors allowed both batters to score. QLD managed to get a run back but it wasn’t enough and South Australia it’s 3rd Elinor McKenzie Shield.
I have to thank all the staff at Softball SA for their support and encouragement. A special thank you to Jacqui Dunn for her help, support and communication. Winning a championship such as this is very much a team effort, not only from the players, my staff but also Softball SA, the player’s clubs and most importantly the family members.
A special congratulations to Andrew, he and Statistician – Derek Roberts, became the first South Australians to ever win 2 National Titles as they were both part of the 2006 team.
Highlighted individual performances were:
Steph Trzcinski pitched amazingly in the finals series throwing all three complete games including 22 innings, 25 strikeouts, and only gave up 14 hits and 4 runs. She was awarded the Player of the Grand Final Medal, selected in the Aussie Pride Team for Worlds and named the SA team’s joint MVP for a record 3rd time.
Chelsea Robinson was named All-Tournament Team (shortstop) and selected in the Aussie Pride Team for Worlds.
Sarah Tonkin was named as a reserve for the Aussie Pride and was SA team’s joint MVP.
Elly Beal was named as a reserve for the Aussie Pride.