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