Easter Softball Tournament demonstrates Academy's strength
Written on the 15 April 2016 by SWSAS
THE Easter long weekend is a time of reflection in so many varied ways. For some this time of religious remembrance also includes many varied other reasons to rejoice.
The holiday weekend was definitely a time to celebrate over an outstanding sports performance, by the South West Sydney Academy of Sport girls Softball squad.
The young Academy squad was in Melbourne to participate in what is nationally recognised as one of the most fiercely contested Softball competitions in Australia, the 2016 Waverley Easter Softball Tournament, which is held at the outstanding Jells Park complex.
With 12 teams participating, including teams from South Australia, ACT, New South Wales, New Zealand and of course Victoria it was always going to be an intense weekend for Academy athletes.
The Academy draw consisted of 2 games Friday afternoon, 4 games Saturday and then 5 games on the Sunday, with the final series to be played on Easter Monday.
Friday's Academy games were played in perfect weather conditions allowing the opportunity for all athletes to perform to their optimum potential. This standard was not reached by the SWSAS squad overall but it played well enough to ultimately coming away with two hard fought wins.
Head coach Peter Doherty was well pleased with his charges and said, the squad played well at times but we were nowhere near playing to our best.
Under perfect sky's day 2 started off with a bang, with the squad performing sensationally well in game 1, culminating in an excellent win and dominating in all aspects of the game. At day's end the squad was able to scramble its way to 3 wins and 1 loss, ending Saturday with 5 -1 win tally overall, leading into Sunday's competition.
With the competition for final spots heating up, the squad knew Sunday would be their hardest day of competition with 5 games identified including games against two older under 19 teams and an outstanding squad from New Zealand.
The day was a day where 6 months of training came to the fore, with SWSAS executing plays and dominating their first two games for two exceptional wins.
The game against the undefeated New Zealand team was the talk of the town, and was set to be the toughest game of the tournament. The Academy squad rose to the occasion with catcher Isabelle Maher and pitcher Bree Evans leading the way, culminating in the squad's most impressive win of the tournament to date.
At the completion of the round robin games the Academy squad finished in 2nd place overall with 9 wins and 2 losses from the 11 games played. This was an excellent result against often older and definitely more experienced opposition.
The start of the final series saw the Academy squad take on the Western Sydney Academy of Sport in a tough game with the Western Academy ultimately being too strong for our Academy girls, meaning SWSAS would play the strong New Zealand once more in the play-off final series.
Just like the first game against the Kiwi's the Academy squad matched their opponents in all aspects of the game by playing some outstanding softball. Excellent skills were displayed by both teams, but unfortunately at the end of the game it was the Kiwis slenderly ahead 3 runs to 2, to end the Academy's tournament participation.
The Academy's sister Academy the Western Sydney Academy of Sport was the ultimate undefeated and rightful tournament winners. A proud Doherty said, the SWSAS Academy squad played exceptionally well overall and the girls went out fighting, it was the perfect way to end the tournament.