NSW women take out Under-23s National Championships

NSW women take out Under-23s National Championships

The NSW Women’s team has claimed the 2018 Under-23s National Championship’s Joyce Lester Shield in Redlands, Queensland over the weekend.

It was a great performance from NSW and despite losing matches to Queensland and US Athletes, claimed four wins and finished third after the round robin portion of the tournament. Having finished undefeated, US Athletes were ineligible to win the tournament and didn’t play in the semi-finals, meaning Queensland were seeded first, NSW second, Western Australia third and South Australia fourth for the finals.

It set NSW up for a match against Western Australia, who NSW had defeated 15-1 in the round robin matches, while ladder-leaders Queensland played the fourth-placed South Australia.

Led by a strong pitching performance from Chantelle Ladner, NSW defeated Western Australia 8-1. The score gives a false impression of the game however, with the teams 1-all at the bottom of the sixth before NSW hit seven runs to run away with a win.

Queensland had it somewhat easier, setting up their result in the first innings with a 5-1 lead, before running out 9-2 winners.

It set up another ‘State of Origin’ style final between NSW and Queensland.

NSW got off to a great start when Brianna Trim scored on an allowed steal in the first innings.

It’s how the score would stay until the fifth innings with NSW pitcher Gabbie Plain and Queensland’s Laura Coulter keeping the score tight.

NSW scored three in the fifth innings for a 4-0 lead, before Queensland hit back with two of their own. However, it was too little too late as NSW held on for a 4-2 win and claiming back-to-back under-23s women’s titles.

For Plain, it was an outstanding performance to win the player of the final award, pitching all seven innings with 15 strikes and just two hits and two runs.

Throughout the tournament, she pitched 17.2 innings for just eight hits and four runs against her, while throwing 34 strikeouts. She was named the pitcher of the tournament, based on her pre-final performance of 10.2 innings, six hits, two runs and 19 strikeouts for an ERA of 0.66.

NSW was also well represented in the awards with Ashleigh Wickens winning batter of the tournament – with 11 hits from 22 at bats with four RBIs, six runs and two walks. Again, she won the award for the round robin matches, where she had eight hits from 15 at bats for an average of 0.533, with three RBIs, five runs and one walk.

Queensland’s Moe Kurihara was named tournament MVP.

NSW Results

NSW 8-0 ACT

Queensland 4-2 NSW

NSW 10-0 South Australia

NSW 1-2 US Athletes

NSW 10-2 Victoria

Western Australia 15-1 NSW

SF: NSW 8-1 Western Australia

Final: Queensland 2-4 NSW

Final Standings

  1. NSW
  2. Queensland
  3. Western Australia
  4. South Australia
  5. ACT
  6. Victoria

* US Athletes were a visiting team and were ineligible to win the Joyce Lester Shield.

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On the men’s side of the draw, it was a tough tournament for the NSW team, finishing winless after six matches to claim fifth on the ladder. However, the boys fought hard throughout the tournament with several close losses.

Daniel Harrison was named in the men’s All Tournament team.

NSW Results

Western Australia 7-5 NSW

Queensland 7-3 NSW

Victoria 9-2 NSW

ACT 9-2 NSW

Victoria 8-4 NSW

Western Australia 8-1 NSW

Final Standings

  1. Queensland
  2. ACT
  3. Western Australia
  4. Victoria
  5. NSW

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