U19 Women – History and Winners

Elinor McKenzie Shield
Australian U19 Women’s Championship

In 1971 Victoria put forward the suggestion to the Australia Softball Federation (Softball Australia) to stage an invitational tournament for the 18 and under age group to fill the gap between the U16 and senior championships. The proposal was put forward as a Notice of Motion at the 1972 Assembly meeting. The first 18 and under, conducted as an equivalent event to the Open and U16 events was staged in Melbourne, in 1974. The age group of this championship officially became the U19 in 1976.

Edna Nash the then President of NSW, traveled to Melbourne to donate the trophy in honour of Elinor McKenzie. Sadly, Elinor never got to present the trophy passing away from the effects of cancer on the eve of its first presentation on 19 May 1974.

Elinor had a long and proud history in the sport of softball playing in excess of 25 times for Australia in an International career that spanned some 12 years. She was a member of the Australian Team for the 1st World Championship staged in Melbourne in 1965, the competition was then known as the Diamond International Trophy. According to Dr Lynn Embrey in her account of softball history ‘Batter Up!’, in the final against USA, it was Elinor who scored the vital run on a wild pitch from American pitcher Donna Lopiano after hitting a double to centre field as leadoff batter in the bottom of the sixth innings.

The niece of Australian cricket great Keith Miller, Elinor was a well-respected first base player who not only excelled in softball but also played at representative level in both basketball and cricket. Her prowess on the Softball diamond was well respected throughout the world.

As a coach Elinor showed her ability and the never give up attitude that she displayed as a player which was instilled in the young Victorian charges she lead to the first U16 Championship hosted by Perth in 1970.

This Championship is a befitting tribute to a great softball player who proudly wore the green and gold of Australia.

Previous winners

1974 NSW in Melbourne 1998 NSW in Brisbane
1975 ACT in Sydney 1999 NSW in Melbourne
1976 Qld in Brisbane 2000 NSW in Perth
1977 ACT in Canberra 2001 NSW in Hobart
1978 NSW in Adelaide 2002 Qld in Adelaide
1979 Vic in Brisbane 2003 NSW in Canberra
1980 Qld in Hobart 2004 NSW in Sydney
1981 NSW in Canberra 2005 Vic in Melbourne
1982 Qld in Darwin 2006 SA in Brisbane
1983 Qld in Brisbane 2007 NSW in Perth
1984 SA in Melbourne 2008 NSW in Hobart
1985 Vic in Sydney 2009 NSW in Melbourne
1986 NSW in Adelaide 2010 NSW in Melbourne
1987 NSW in Perth 2011 NSW in Sydney
1988 NSW in Hobart 2012 NSW in Perth
1989 Qld in Canberra 2013 NSW in Canberra
1990 Qld in Sydney 2014 Qld in Canberra
1991 NSW in Darwin 2015 SA in Adelaide
1992 NSW in Brisbane 2016 NSW in Brisbane
1993 Qld in Melbourne 2017 NSW in Perth
1994 Vic in Adelaide 2018 Qld in Sydney
1995 NSW in Perth
 1996 NSW in Hobart
1997 Qld in Canberra