Facing the most challenging year in the history of Australian softball, selectors have chosen 24 players to form the 2018 Australian Open Women’s squad.
The 2018 calendar year will be huge for the squad, culminating in the XVI Women’s Softball World Championship in August, which is also a potential qualifying event for the 2020 Olympic Games.
But there is a lot of work to be done and games to be played before then, starting with the Denso series in Adelaide from January 27-29. Fourteen players from the 2018 squad listed below will be chosen later this week to participate in this event.
The biggest international event in Australia will be the Asia Pacific Cup from February 1-4 at Blacktown International Sportspark. For this event, the Australian squad of 24 will be split into two teams (Spirit and All-Stars) and an additional eight players will be invited to participate on the All-Star team.
These extra players will have the opportunity to be added to the 2018 Open Women’s squad after the Asia Pacific Cup if their performances meet the selectors’ criteria and expectations.
Aussie Spirit Head Coach Fabian Barlow says the busy months ahead will provide opportunities for players to showcase their skills.
“I’m excited about the initial squad of 24 athletes that have been selected with a good mix of experience, youth and positional coverage,” Barlow said.
“The eight athletes to be added to the All-Star team will have a tremendous opportunity at the Asia Pacific Cup to showcase their abilities at the international level and earn a call-up to the National Squad.”
The Aussie Spirit team to compete in the National Fastpitch Pro league in the US for the first time and the World Championship in Chiba, Japan, will be chosen after the Asia Pacific Cup.
The 2018 Australian Open Women’s squad is:
|Georgia Casey (NSW)||Kaia Parnaby (NSW)||Jessica Torpey (Qld)|
|Michelle Cox (NSW)||Samantha Poole (NSW)||Stephanie Trzcinski (SA)|
|Amelia Cudicio (NSW)||Stacey Porter (NSW)||Taylah Tsitsikronis (NSW)|
|Chelsea Forkin (Qld)||Ellen Roberts (NSW)||Jade Wall (Qld)|
|Leigh Godfrey (WA)||Justine Smethurst (Qld)||Clare Warwick (ACT)|
|Rachel Lack (NSW)||Carmelle Sorensen (Qld)||Melinda Weaver (Qld)|
|Jordan Lambert (SA)||Tarni Stepto (NSW)||Belinda White (SA)|
|Stacey McManus (NSW)||Erin Thras (Qld)||Tamieka Whitefield (Qld)|