SIX girls from Orange will represent Western at the NSW Combined High Schools softball championships starting in Mudgee today.
Georgia Watson, Maddie Lisle, Alex Barry, Maddie Gogala, Chloe Smith and Louise Kempson will be joined by six players from Mudgee and one from Gulgong in the three-day championships which will bring together nine regional sides.
Carnival manager Mick Boller said the championships will feature high quality softball.
“There will be some tremendous talented players here,” Boller said.
“I’m not sure if some of them have played for Australia but most would have played for NSW under 16s, under 17s and under 19s. All of them will be here.”
Mudgee’s Bria Toohey is one of those players with state experience having played for Tasmania at the under 17s national softball championships in January.
There will be nine teams featuring in the three-day carnival such as Riverina, North West, Sydney East, Sydney South West, North Coast, Sydney West, Hunter, Sydney North and host region Western.
There will be three rounds played on each day.
“Everybody plays everybody,” Boller said.
At the conclusion of the round robin games, the 2013 NSW CHS “Red” and “Blue” teams will be announced.
These two teams will compete in a subsequent series against NSW Catholic and Independent teams from which a NSW All Schools team will be selected.
“Sydney North is a very, very, strong region. North West will be very strong too,” Boller explained.
It has been a long time between drinks for Mudgee to host the CHS softball carnival.
The last time the town hosted the event Bob Hawke was Australian Prime Minister, Mudgee High School had 500 students, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was a box office smash hit.
“That was 1983,” Boller said.
“All the teams arrived by train and the players had to be billeted.
“It has taken 30 years partly because Orange developed and the infrastructure at Jack Brabham. They had a huge amount of room to play.”
Mudgee High School’s Robyn Burke will coach Western CHS.
Western will go up against Riverina, Sydney North and Sydney West today.
n WESTERN: Bria Toohey, Rachel Sharp, Erika MacPherson, Erin Kenny, Jess Edwards, Lauren Flack (Mudgee High School), Natasha Doherty (Gulgong High School), Georgia Watson, Maddie Lisle, Alex Barry, Maddie Gogala, Chloe Smith, Louise Kempson (Orange).