Tigers set to roar
Friday, 2nd December, 2011
Reigning champions recover their form
By John Casey
Defending BH Softball Association premiers Tigers will tonight look to claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they face Penguins at Jubilee Oval.
Tigers have made an unconvincing start to their premiership defence, including a 10-run defeat at the hands of Penguins on the opening night of the season in October.
However, a morale-boosting 17-4 victory over Warriors in round five suggests Tigers are on the way back and young gun Belinda Siebert says her team isn’t too worried about their form at the moment.
“We are all enjoying our softball at the moment and there is still plenty of time for us to hit top form,” Siebert said.
“We have a very experienced line-up who know what it takes to be successful - as we showed last week against Warriors.”
In last week’s unusually cold and wet conditions it was Tigers’ wealth of experience that proved vital, with Siebert joining the 2011 home run club with a nice drive through centre field.
Despite being out-gunned, Warriors stuck to the task and were aided by some good defensive work from Abbey Carpenter and Chanelle Burrows who produced some excellent reflex stops.
Theresa Riley also impressed with the bat as well as her work as pitcher, while short-stop Paris Barrett was also amongst Warriors’ best.
In the other match in round five, Excelsior maintained their unbeaten record when the Menindee-based Albemarle All-Stars were forced to forfeit.
All clubs have been reminded they should still present themselves to play no matter what the weather conditions, as a decision will be made at Jubilee Oval if the games are to proceed.
With an impressive 4-0 start to the season, it is no surprise that Excelsior has been tipped as the team to beat by Belinda Siebert.
“In last season’s Grand Final Excelsior were probably a little unlucky to lose and they will be hungry to make up for that defeat,” Belinda said.
“There were a couple of times during the game that I thought we were in trouble, but again our experience was a telling factor.”
At 24, Belinda is much younger than her team-mates - many of whom have already celebrated their 50th birthdays - but she says that has proven a bonus as she continues to rebuild her game.
“I started playing when I was eight, but took a break for a few years before returning to softball last season and having so many experienced players in our team has been a big help,” Belinda said.
“I have learnt a lot from them and the atmosphere each week is very enjoyable - not just within our team, but the competition overall,” she added.
Belinda said the two A Grade premierships she has been a part of were the highlights of her softball career, while she also has fond memories of representing BH while a student at Willyama High School.
“I played three years with the Combined High Schools team which included players from Broken Hill, Menindee and Coomealla and played in carnivals at Tamworth and Newcastle,” Belinda recalled.
“In my last year the carnival was played here in Broken Hill and I was named as captain, which was a big honour.
“Coming up against the best players from all over New South Wales you learn a lot and I certainly gained a great deal from the experience,” Belinda continued.
Also a keen tennis player, Belinda said the team environment provided by softball was one of the attractions to the sport.
“We are all there to win, but BH softball gives me the chance to stay active and enjoy the social side as well - anyone who comes down to Jubilee Oval on a Friday will enjoy the night.”