26 January, 2023
State softball success for Caboolture teen
Caboolture softballer Isabella Watson relished being part of the Queensland team which won the Esther Deason Shield at the Under 16 Girls National Championships.
At the Victorian-based Waverley Softball Association from January 12 to 16, New South Wales went through the championships undefeated until the grand final when Queensland reigned supreme.
Queensland had seven wins and three losses during the pool games as opponents were NSW, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, before Queensland qualified for the decider after winning a semi-final.
In a tight decider, Queensland prevailed 3-2. Isabella, who plays for the Warriors softball club in Caboolture, batted third in the Queensland line-up and spent time at catcher and third base.
Isabella (pictured) said the highlight of the championships from an individual perspective was “getting to play in the grand final”, while the highlight from a team perspective was winning the grand final.
“(It was) amazing to beat NSW as they were undefeated all tournament, and (it was) great to see our team coming together and rally together for the win,” Isabella said.
Isabella said the key to Queensland’s success was teamwork, great coaching and strategic game planning going into the grand final.
The triumph was all the more special after Isabella played in last year’s championships at Blacktown International Sports Park, where Queensland finished runner-up to NSW.
This year was the tenth time Queensland had won the Esther Deason Shield, which began in 1970.
The championships were played as an U16 girls event until 2010, and then as an U17 girls event from 2011 to 2019 before reverting to U16s in 2020.
The 2021 championships were cancelled due to Covid, after Queensland won the shield in 2020 at the same venue as this year’s championships.