Pitcher: We have high expectations at softball championship
SOFTBALL: Kirsty Lester, 15, says travelling thousands of kilometres will be rewarded by attending the 51st Under-16 Girls' National Softball Championship at Waverley, Victoria.
PICTURE: John Todd
Lester will play for Queensland as pitcher against South Australia and Victoria on Saturday.
"We have very high expectations and we all know each other from under-15s in the last two years," Lester said.
She represented Queensland Flames in the under-15 nationals last year finishing second, and is keen to go one better in the higher age bracket.
To know the batters strengths and weaknesses will be key.
PICTURE: John Todd
"The coaches have been scouting other teams so that we know their possible line-ups and their strengths and weaknesses and practise and pitch for that at training," Lester said.
Training was something Lester has been doing for the past three months.
"We have been training together as a team in Brisbane and there has been a lot of back and forth from Gladstone to Brisbane for training," she said.
"We have been doing a lot of defensive drills like fielding and protecting runs as well as batting conversions."
Lester relies on her pitching variety.
"I like to pitch pretty quick but it also depends on my relationship with the catcher and the strengths and weaknesses of the batter," she said.
"I try to pitch in a lot of spots."
Lester started playing softball at age four and has been a Queensland representative since she was 12.
Apart from having to travel between Gladstone and Brisbane for training, Lester also plays in two separate competitions.
"I play for Telfords in Gladstone on Fridays and then play in Hervey Bay each Saturday for Brothers United under-16 and women teams," she said.
"There's more of a range of teams in Hervey Bay while in Gladstone there are three with Telfords, Souths and Psyclones."
Lester is one of several Gladstone players who'll don the Queensland uniform.
Nickolas Gehrmann is also at the equivalent male champs with the under-16 side.
Michael Ludkin will play in the 37th Men's National Softball Championship at Hawker, ACT from January 12-18.
Joshua Wilson will also compete at the same time and venue for Queensland's under-14s team.