Friday, 4th November, 2011
By John Casey
The BH Softball Association has climbed off the canvas and an expanded two-match fixture will be the highlight of round two of the 2011-12 season at Jubilee Oval tonight.
After last week having just two teams - one of which was a player short - a desperate plea from the association has resulted in the Excelsior team returning as well as a new side from Menindee joining the competition.
The Albemarle All-Stars will make the weekly trip into BH from Menindee ensuring softball is the only local female team sport where the towns clash.
“We are very excited about the inclusion of the team from Menindee,” BH Softball Association President Leonie Channing said.
“Menindee has had a team in the local rugby league competition for some time and we believe the rivalry in softball will be a good one as well.
“The Albemarle Hotel in Menindee will sponsor the team and we are looking forward to them becoming an important member of the competition,” Mrs Channing added.
Plans to include a fifth team in the competition are in the pipeline and Mrs Channing welcomed the support of the local media in breathing new life into the sport.
“Last week’s coverage in the BDT definitely helped improve what was a bleak situation for softball,” Mrs Channing said.
“Now we can be excited about the future.
“Obviously we are still looking for more players, so if anyone is interested they are invited to come and see the action at Jubilee Oval,” Mrs Channing continued.
The BHSA is pleased that Excelsior has re-grouped and will field a team in tonight’s round two, where they will clash with last week’s winners Penguins.
Penguins looked very strong defeating reigning premiers Tigers on opening night, but Excelsior should field a formidable line-up behind the city’s best pitcher Lisa Tonkin-Werch.
The youthful Penguins line-up smashed four home runs last week, so the battle between in-form batters and pitching from the competitions reigning Best and Fairest winner is a mouth-watering proposition.
Tigers will be looking to rebound in the early match against the Albemarle All-Stars, who will be an unknown quantity.
“We only had eight players last week but with a full team (nine) I’m sure we can do much better,” Mrs Channing said.
Cheryl Fulton (second base) and Cheryl Meuret (third) produced some good plays last week and will again apply good defensive pressure on the debutants.
One player who will be absent from the diamond tonight is 23-year-old Morgan Morris.
Morgan returned to the Penguins line-up after a 12-month break to help secure the win last Friday night, but came to grief 48 hours later while playing basketball.
“I just went to save a ball from going out of court and dislocated my right shoulder,” the Pharmacy Assistant at BH Hospital explained.
“I’ll have the arm in a sling for a week and the doctor has told me to take three months off sport, which is going to kill me.
“I play four sports and it keeps me pretty busy, so I guess I’ll have to take up walking or something,” Morgan continued.
Softball was a big part of Morgan’s junior sporting life and she hopes more youngsters will get involved to help guarantee softball’s future in BH.
“I was lucky enough to represent South Australia as a teenager and remember touring Melbourne and Canberra with the State team,” Morgan said.
“It was a tremendous experience for a young girl and I made a lot of friends, so I’d recommend softball as a good sporting choice.
“It would be a shame to lose the sport and I hope enough people get involved to make sure it continues in Broken Hill for many years to come.”