The Newcastle District Softball Association may have finished sixth at the Hunter-hosted Open Women’s State Championships, but with the second highest run-count across the weekend they proved their quality in spades.
A key element to the Newcastle squad’s dominant run haul was Grace Wrixon, a youngster who has already proven she can go on to be one of the region’s strongest batters.
Wrixon, who was also the opening pitcher for the Novocastrian outfit across the weekend, collected the Championship Batting Award as best batter in the series, an honour that saw her rise above the shoulders of a host of state talents.
For player-coach Bree Brooker, a veteran state representative from the Hunter, Wrixon is one of the “ones to watch” in the squad, and a lynchpin of their high-scoring form.
“Grace [Wrixon] is a great little talent, and definitely someone that I can see stepping up and providing a leading voice for the squad in coming years,” Brooker said.
“She’s got talent aplenty and every time she steps out to bat you know that you’re going to be able to collect runs. She’s just got that spark that makes people sit up and take notice.”
Although Newcastle boasted a strong cohort in their home competition, it was Manly Warringah that proved best at the competition overall, closing out the grand final with a 3-0 win over Sutherland.
Despite the sixth place finish for the Novocastrian team, Brooker believes they have talent oozing from the squad, with four young players heading inter-state to undergo trials in the near future.
“We have a lot of new faces that are coming through the ranks and proving what they can do on the field,” she said. “It’s great to see for me because I’ll be stepping off the field soon and just running things from the sideline, and it’d be great to see the team and the competitions in safe hands.”
“It’s really impressive that they’re heading down to the state trials, and we’re all hoping that they can build on the Open Women’s Championship to have great success there and prove that they’re worth a lot to the state squads.”
Emily Gordon, Jessica Corrigan and Olivia Moore will join Wrixon at the state trials. Wrixon is currently overseas, competing with the Australian Under 19 development squad in Tokyo, Japan.