HomeSportBundy stars help Queensland to nationals gold rush

Bundy stars help Queensland to nationals gold rush

Australian Softball Championships
Softball National Champions – Bundaberg’s four Under-18 Australian Softball Championships winning players (from left) Connor Pashley, Hannah Leggett, Tom Halt and Chelsea Zunker.

Queensland made a clean sweep of the four Australian Softball Championships over the Easter weekend – Under-18 Men’s and Women’s at Blacktown, and Under-14 Boys and Girls at Hawker ACT – and Bundaberg’s Coral Coast Softball Association had a strong presence in each of the four winning teams.

Waves club-mates Tom Halt and Connor Pashley were vital parts of the Maroons’ outfit which defeated New South Wales 6-0 in the U18 Men’s Nox Bailey Shield final, while Hannah Leggett (Waves) and Chelsea Zunker (Brothers United) and Assistant Coach Anne Vogler, also of Brothers United, helped Queensland to the U18 Women’s Elinor McKenzie Shield with a 4-1 final victory over South Australia.

A broken leg unfortunately forced Waves’ Drew Paton’s withdrawal from the Queensland U14 Boys team, leaving Hervey Bay duo Thomas McCarroll and Owen Taylor to fly the District banner in the side which blitzed Metro Strikers 15-3 in the decider, while Dean Van Den Kieboom (Waves) was the Statistician for the team.

Another Waves dynamic duo of Charli-Anne Trace and Raine Eastcott also played their parts well as the Queenslander U14 girls also wrapped up the title with a final triumph over Metro Strikers.

Chelsea also took out the coveted awards for the Under-18 Women’s Grand Final MVP and Best Pitcher.

Australian Softball Championships
Chelsea Zunker received the awards for the Australian Under-18 Women’s Softball Championships Best Pitcher and the Grand Final MVP.

Congratulations also to Troy Law on being selected in the inaugural Over 35’s Queensland Men’s State Team.

Tom Halt and Connor Pashley also played integral roles as Waves put the icing on a dominant Coral Coast/Hervey Bay A Grade Men’s season with a 12-1 grand final victory over 2021 champions Terrors last month.

It had been 10 long years since Waves last raised the A Grade Men’s trophy, but they were always in control, bagging just one run in their first innings, but putting their stamp on the match with seven in the second, when Terrors picked up what was to be their only run of the final.

Waves added a further four runs in their third inning, and after Terrors were unable to bridge the deficit at the top of the fourth innings, the Mercy Rule was invoked.

Australian Softball Championships
Australian Softball Championships: Waves Schooners celebrate their drought-breaking Coral Coast/Hervey Bay Softball A Grade Men’s Premiership victory – (Back from Left) David Simpson, Colton Brockhurst, Connor Pashley, Sam Field, Tom Halt, Paul Gardner; (Front Row) Dave Field, Jamison Kaye, Boyd Paton, Dean Leggett, Jayden Pashley; Absent: Warren Stehbens, Ben Stehbens, Carolyn Hurley (Scorer).

Long-serving club champion and player/coach David Field and his son and Captain Sam had also been stars of their success of a decade earlier.

But in a galaxy of stars, Dave said Jamison Kaye was their best on the day, “taking four catches at left field outfield and hitting a home run”.

“Also, we had a solid battery performance by Pitcher Colton Brockhurst and Catcher Sam Field, and Tom Halt and Boyd Paton both took two catches at second base and right field respectively,” David said.

Chelsea Zunker was a stand-out for the Brothers United Firesticks who completed a hat-trick of A Grade Ladies titles with a hard-fought 4-0 grand final victory over minor premiers Waves Tsunamis.

Australian Softball Championships
Brothers United Firesticks completed a hat-trick of Coral Coast/Hervey Bay Softball A Grade Ladies Premierships – Team: Kylie Nufer, Sophie Harbourne, Amy Freeman, Anne Vogler, Fay Gleeson, Louise Cole, Melissa Donald, Tiarna Law, Shannon Purkis, Helen Mellross, Chelsea Zunker, Natasha Hoopert.

Long serving United champion player/coach Louise Cole was also lavish in praise of her players.

“Chelsea Zunker and Melissa Donald work well in the battery (pitcher and catcher combination) while Anne Vogler was awesome in the bat and the field. We started well and after the first innings we were up 2-0,” Louise said.

“We had a great mix of ages in our team and the younger girls definitely have some role models to look up to.

“Our team played well throughout the season although many weeks we were short players as five of our players were travelling between Brisbane and Rockhampton and we were having to use players from B grade to fill in our team.

“We knew these players in B grade could step up to A grade with no problems. Our two B Grade teams definitely had players we could call on when we were short and wouldn’t hesitate in playing up with us when called up.

“This was a great team of ladies who were very easy to step on the field with this season and really enjoyed the game.”

Australian Softball Championships
Charli Trace hits out for Queensland at the Australian Softball Under-14 Girls Championships in the ACT.

Brothers United Inferno claimed the B1 Grade Ladies crown with a 16-8 despatch of Waves Tidal Waves, but Waves Breakers triumphed in B2 Grade Ladies at the expense of Bargara Bandits 20-13, and Waves Torpedoes accounted for Terrors 14-7 in U14.

Bargara also shared in the spoils with their Bulls team bucking Terrors 13-3 in B Grade Men.

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