The Travelodge Aussie Spirit have landed back in Australia after a successful tour of Japan, including another training camp in Ota City, and a bronze medal placing at the Japan Cup event. Despite falling to the top two teams in the world, USA and Japan, on the weekend, the Travelodge Aussie Spirit came out on top in a battle for third place with two wins against nearest rivals, Chinese Taipei.
The 16-player squad showed great signs under new Head Coach Laing Harrow in an event that saw him earn his first win at the helm for the Spirit. In what was a great opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world, a number of young players were able to face top class pitching for the first time in their careers – something that will no doubt assist as they continue to develop themselves leading into a big 2019 program.
The offense was led by Travelodge Aussie Spirit Captain Stacey Porter who hit .571 over the four game tournament, whilst Verity Long-Droppert was another standout with a .429 average. Some other notable performances with the bat came from Carmelle Sorensen, Tarni Stepto and Rachel Lack who all homered against Chinese Taipei, and also Clare Warwick who battled into deep counts in every game.
Defensively, some great work from our three pitchers who competed hard throughout the whole tour, and some fantastic glove work in the infield from Clare Warwick, Stacey Porter and Mel Weaver.
The team would like to thank our friends in Ota City for again welcoming us with open arms for our pre-tournament training camp. The city is becoming our second home and those involved in assisting with our visit now feel like family. We feel extremely lucky to have been able to establish this relationship and look forward to returning in 2019.
The Open Women’s Squad members will now turn their attention to preparation with their state programs for the Gilley’s Shield that will be held in Perth from 5–11 January 2019.