Open State Championship Preview

Open State Championship Preview

After some false starts due to the weather the 2020 Open Man and Women’s State Championships will kick off tonight at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Due to current restrictions we must still keep to the 500 people attending requirement and to do this we must restrict each participant to 1 spectator. Checking in will be compulsory at the entry of the venue and teams will only be allowed to warm up on the diamond 30 minutes prior to their game time.

The Men’s competition will see 7 vying for the State Championship Title.

Macarthur have a wealth of talent with all their players having represented the Blues either at senior level or junior level. The depth in their pitching ranks is top notch headed by Aussie Steelers player Harri Peters and backed up by Luke Ollerenshaw and Harry Pudner. Throw in the experience of the Wards brothers and James Todhunter its no wonder they go into the competition as favourites.

Penrith City have veterans Peter Albee, Mark Fitzpatrick and Aaron Ristau, all former NSW players, returning after a few years on the sidelines. New Zealand representatives Zane Van Lieshout and Ben Bull are competing in their first NSW State Championship and are excited to be playing at Blacktown International Sportspark for the first time. The Garland brothers are back together again and will form an important combination for the Penrith team.

Lefthanded Pitcher Shaun Lanaghan will be the key to Southern Districts success. Having had the taste of National Open Men’s level he has the experience to dominate on the mound. NSW players Blake Becquet, Blake Jackson, Daniel Harrison, Zac Roberts and Michael Owen will ensure the Southern Districts Team is competitive.

Aussie Steelers players Hayden Matthews, Kieran O’Leary and Liam O’Leary head up a star studded line up for Hornsby. This team will have Sam Spooner leading the battery and together with the Rossi and Kajan brothers backing up in the field last years runners up cannot be discounted.

Georges River will rely on Brad Kilpatrick on the mound after losing the experience of Nathan Dickinson. However this team is strong and boasts a number of NSW Men’s players in Callum Beashel, Mitchell Brownlow, Lachlan Hay, Jayden Lach and Stuart Perry all of which have the skills and experience to a game around with a swing of a bat.

The Cumberland Nepean team is experienced and will have Dimi Doney and Jarrod Mellowship on the mound to keep them competitive. Josh Wickens is the all rounder of the team and plays exciting Softball both offensively and defensively.

The Invitational Team is a combination of youth and experience and are eager to take on the challenge. NSW U23 player Aiden Kelly will lead the team from the front. Junior Aussie Steelers player Josh Banks whilst young has the experience of a World Championship under his belt. Dylan Gavin, Corey Gleeson, Brad Harrison, Zane Howarth, Caden Keed and Brady Shears all know what it takes to step up and be competitive after representing NSW in the past.

The Men’s Competition kicks off at 9:00am tomorrow.

The Women’s Championship is shaping up to be one of the closest competitions in years. Each of the teams have players key to their chances of taking out the title.

Charlie Orsini will team up with fellow Junior Aussie Spirit member Ryleigh Arnott for Cumberland Nepean as one of the youngest Pitcher Catcher combinations in the competition. More talented young pitchers in Amelia Cousins and Emily Peters make this pitching staff a hard one to crack. The team consists of 10 former or current NSW players who are keen to get back on the diamond and represent their association.

Gabbie Plain has delayed her return to College in the US and will lead the way for Macarthur sharing the pitching duties with Junior Aussie Spirit player Mia Gilmore. Macarthur has a young team but are boosted by Aussie Spirit player Jade Wall as a pick up player who will bring a wealth of experience into the team. The team will be coached by NSW and Australian Men’s player Pete Wards.

Manly Warringah is a team full of talent with no less than 13 former or current NSW players and with the advantage of having good depth in the pitching ranks boasting Aussie Spirit player Tarni Stepto, former NSW representative Alli Edgtton, current NSW U16 player Chelsea Bennett and Alyssa Charter-Smith, who gained valuable experience playing for Victoria at the 2020 U18 Australian Championship, will make this team one of the teams to watch.

After thinking they could not play in the state championships due to US College commitments Firestars players Mya Geros and Jenna Trim will now take the diamond for Newcastle as pick up players over the weekend. Newcastle also have the experience of former Firestars player Bree Brooker and together with former NSW players Laura Kebby and Liz Powell as well as current NSW U16 player Sienna Burgess will be no easy beats.

With 13 former or current NSW representatives North Shore will go into the weekend as one of the favourites. They will be led by Australian and Firestars players Mim Cudicio, Tahli Moore and Rachel Lack. Lack and Moore have been training hard for the past 3 months with the NSWIS Squad and are keen for some game time. Unfortunately for North Shore pitcher Ellen Roberts left to play in the Japanese League but Mim Cudicio Breanna Evans and Grace Wrixon are all ready to step up and show some good form on the pitchers plate.

Penrith City are probably one of the dark horses with a wealth of experience. Aussie Spirit and Firestars player Taylah Tsitsikronis and Firestars player Jasmine Peters will be looking at taking the opposition on head on as the marquee players in the team. Bridie Murphy, Stephanie Watts, Caitlin Michels and Georgia Barton will be key to Penrith City’s chances when they get their chance on the mound.

Veteran pitchers Kelly Gentle and Charmaine Johns will take to the mound for Sutherland and will be backed up by young gun Bronte Sheppard and the experienced Sarah Diener to form one of the batteries with the most depth. Throw in Aussie Spirit players Shannon Keevers and Stacey McManus and some NSW players it makes the Sutherland’s lineup a formidable one.

First game for the women is tonight at 7:30pm.

Keep up to date with all the latest news and information from the State Championships:

Website – Softball NSW

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For further information on this event please contact; Operations & Events Manager-Cathy Kerr via operations@softballnsw.org.au