By Hayley Wildes
The Dandenong Softball Association hosted the 2018 Under 19 Softball Victoria State Championships from the 7th to the 8th of April at Police Paddocks in Dandenong North.
In what was a battle of future stars of the sport, there was action aplenty in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Local teams; Casey and Dandenong, mixed it with the very best teams from all over the state.
In the women’s Championships, Casey progressed through the pool stage and further qualifiers to make it to the Grand Final.
Taking on Waverley in the Grand Final, it was a battle of the undefeated teams and the crowd had a sense of deja vu after these two teams also faced off in the 2017 Grand Final.
In what was a tight game, Waverley made the most of their chances down the stretch, winning the Under 19 Women’s State Championship, 5-3 – claiming back-to-back titles.
Meanwhile, Casey’s men also made their way through to the Grand Final after claiming wins against Werribee (8-2), Keilor Park (15-1) and Frankston/Albury Wodonga (12-1).
Unfortunately, Casey met a Sunshine team on a mission in the Grand Final and were unable to counterpunch the firepower Sunshine was sending down.
Sunshine’s big-hitters came to play and matched the intensity of their pitchers. Sunshine eventually ran out 7-0 winners, claiming the Under 19 Men’s State Championship.With both Casey teams making it through to grand finals, it is clear that the young softball talent coming through the ranks has never been better.