RECENTLY, 24 juniors from Orange competed at the Softball NSW Under 13 State Championships.
Both the girls’ and boys’ teams displayed some outstanding softball throughout the two-day competition in Camden.
They endured extreme temperatures of over 30 degrees on Saturday and welcomed the cooler temperatures on Sunday.
In the boy’s division, the Orange team played a total of seven round robin games over the two days.
The Orange boys dominated the competition, having six good wins in the preliminaries to advance to the series final.
In the first game the boys played Penrith City and started nervously going down 18-1.
The boys then took on Newcastle winning 10-9 and, as the temperature began to rise, the boys defeated the strong Macarthur team 7-5, before downing Campbelltown 9 -5.
The boys continued on their winning run on Sunday morning defeating Southern Districts 14-3 and then Sutherland 15-4.
At this stage the boys were sitting outright second on the ladder and took on a strong Georges River team.
After a tense start the team came back firing to win 6-2, and cement their place in the final.
The last time an Orange boy’s team took out the state championship in this age division was in 1988.
The Orange boys put up a courageous fight in the final, but were unable to contain the might of the Penrith attack and were defeated 10-1 in a very entertaining match.
The sportsmanship shown by the boys was enormous and all the boys should be very proud of their performance over the weekend.
The girls played a total of six games having wins against Tamworth, Campbelltown and Newcastle.
All girls played well and improved both as a team and individually.
Eva Reith-Snare and Lily Westcott were outstanding with the bat both earning multiple home runs.
Eva and Amy Hooper were successful as pitchers proving too strong for many batters. Ashleigh Kelly and Claudia Frost also took up the challenge as pitchers and both performed solidly.
Sally Uttley’s secure glovework as catcher was outstanding as she launched herself in all directions, as did Chelsea White when she took her turn as catcher.
High team spirits were always maintained with the continued encouragement from some of the younger members of the team, Georgina Bennett and Georgia Westcott who remained supportive at all times and also performed solidly at bat and on the field.
Caitlyn Martin, Jessica Cashen and Jessica Lynch were always on their toes in the field ready for any ball that came their way.
ODSA was also represented at the championships by umpires Craig Myers, Chris Maybin, Mac Reith-Snare and Aiden Kelly.
Congratulations to both teams and officials from Orange on a great championship performance.