Queenslander Natalie Hodgskin (nee Shapiro) and New South Wales star Belinda Barnes (nee Wright) have been inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame following the organisation’s Annual General Meeting today.
Both players donned the green and gold of Australia at one Olympic Games each, Natalie winning Silver in Athens in 2004 and Belinda a member of the Bronze medal winning Beijing campaign in 2008.
Natalie made her debut in 1997 at the Qantas Challenge and went on to play 23 international tournaments including the 2002 ISF World Championship and 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
The Queenslander played 160 games for the Aussie Spirit between 1997 and 2004. She was a standout in the Queensland system, attending the University of Queensland on a Sports Scholarship where she picked up a Sportswoman of the Year Award in 1997.
Natalie was inducted into the Softball Queensland Hall of Fame in 2010.
Belinda made her Aussie Spirit debut in the 2001 Trans-Tasman Challenge, the first of her 34 international tournaments for Australia.
A speedy outfielder, Belinda made 224 appearances for the Aussie Spirit, highlighted by the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 after playing a reserve role for Australia in 2004 in Athens.
The Novocastrian won six Gilley’s Shields with NSW and captained the Firestars in 2009. She is a member of the Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame as another exceptional sporting talent from the area.