The Australian summer of softball is about to get underway, with events in WA and NSW starting tomorrow.
The Open Women’s National Softball Championship will be played at Mirrabooka International Softball Stadium in WA from 6-12 January.
Six teams will be vying for the coveted Gilley’s Shield, including ACT Diamonds, NSW Firestars, Queensland Heat, SA Starz, Victoria Titans and WA Flames. NSW Firestars are the defending champions, after defeating Queensland Heat 8-0 in last year’s grand final.
The Gilley’s Shield has a long standing history that dates back to 1947, when the first Australian Women’s Softball Carnival was played. This will be the 71st edition of the event.
The U15 Girls’ Regional Softball Championship will be held in conjunction with the Open Women’s National Softball Championship at Mirrabooka, also from 6-12 January.
The tournament will feature 11 teams, including defending champions, NSW Metro Green.
Five teams will play in the boys’ competition, with ACT, NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA battling it out for the Arthur Allsopp Shield.
Queensland are the defending champions, after defeating NSW 5-0 in last year’s grand final.
In the girls’ competition, six teams, from ACT, Queensland, NSW, SA, Victoria and WA, will be competing for the Esther Deason Shield.
NSW have claimed the last four titles, including last year with a 5-1 grand final win over SA, and will be aiming to make it five in a row this year.
The summer of softball will continue throughout January and into early February.
After this week, the following events will be held:
– Open Men’s National Softball Championship (John Reid Shield), Hawker, ACT, 14-20 January
– U15 Boys’ Regional Softball Championship, Hawker, ACT, 14-20 January
– U19 Men’s National Softball Championship, Blacktown, NSW, 22-28 January
– U19 Women’s National Softball Championship, Blacktown, NSW, 22-28 January
– Asia Pacific Cup (international women’s event), Blacktown, NSW, 1-4 February