17 February, 2023

World Cup destiny awaits Caboolture softballer

Having recently continued his remarkable run of success for Queensland at national level, Caboolture softballer Cameron White is now aiming to be part of a World Cup title for Australia.

Queensland U23 men’s softball co-captains Cameron White and Jeremy Waters savour Queensland’s success in the Laing Harrow Shield. Next on the agenda for Cameron is representing Australia in the U23 World Cup in Argentina.
Queensland U23 men’s softball co-captains Cameron White and Jeremy Waters savour Queensland’s success in the Laing Harrow Shield. Next on the agenda for Cameron is representing Australia in the U23 World Cup in Argentina.

Cameron heard last week that he was in the squad of 16 for the inaugural World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U23 Men’s Softball World Cup, held in the Argentinian city of Parana from April 15 to 23.

Cameron was named in an extended squad of 32 last May while the tournament was originally scheduled for October 2022, but then it was delayed for various reasons.

Cameron said the delay and the uncertainty it caused were extremely frustrating, considering he had trained and prepared for the tournament for at least a year.

“However, you must stay positive and persistent,” he said.

Confirmation of Cameron’s selection for the World Cup came less than a week after he was part of another title win for Queensland in the U23 men’s national titles.

The team in maroon secured the Laing Harrow Shield at this recent event in the Victorian city of Hume, with Cameron the Queensland co-captain alongside Jeremy Waters.

Queensland lost its first match but did not lose again, although there were some tight and thrilling battles with many pendulum swings.

In its opening tussle, Queensland led 8-3 but went on to lose 13-11 to arch-rival New South Wales (NSW).

Queensland then pipped Australian Capital Territory (ACT) 6-5, before edging out Victoria 16-15 in a marathon contest lasting a little over three hours.

Queensland had subsequent wins of 16-7 and 8-1 against Victoria and NSW, before beating ACT 6-4 and then downing Victoria 5-3.

The next battle with NSW was interesting as the blue team led 3-0 before the maroon line-up triumphed 13-8, and then followed up with a 15-1 thrashing of ACT.

Queensland’s ensuing 10-3 win over NSW enabled Cameron and his teammates to reach the grand final, which they won 8-1 against ACT following brilliant pitching from Layton Reid and a home run from Sheldon Waller.

Sheldon was later named Most Valuable Player (MVP) as well as player of the grand final. Fellow Queenslanders Lincoln Walk (best pitcher) and Ashlee Goffer (best batter) also received awards.

Cameron also contributed throughout the tournament with the bat and as a fielder at second base, while his and Jeremy’s leadership built a winning culture.

Cameron, who resides at Ningi and plays for Cavaliers in the Caboolture softball competition, had previously been a stand-alone captain for Queensland. Many of Queensland’s players had also played together in previous years, with ample success.

“The culture and brotherhood we all possess together stood out,” Cameron said.

“We all got behind each other when we needed to win games.”

This year was the sixth time Cameron was in a winning title for Queensland, having been in an U17 title in 2017, U19 titles in 2018 and 2019, and U23 titles in 2019, 2022 and 2023.

Queensland also won the U19 title in 2017 and 2020, and the U23 title in 2017 and 2018, meaning the U23s won for the fifth successive time considering the 2020 and 2021 tournaments were not played due to Covid.

Cameron said this year’s triumph definitely ranked in his top three due to Queensland winning the U23 tournament five times in a row.

“It is always great winning national titles for Queensland, but for me my next objective/goal is to win a world title for Australia,” he said.

Australia will be in Group A along with Argentina, Czechia, Mexico, South Africa and Singapore while Group B comprises Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Venezuela, Israel and Team WBSC (featuring Guatemala players).

Australia’s 16-player squad includes Cameron, Jeremy, Lincoln and Ashlee as well as Shannon Goffer, Hayden Dobe and Riley James from the championship-winning Queensland team. Another Queenslander, Caleb Van De Griendt, was not part of the recent Laing Harrow Shield success but was chosen for the World Cup after earlier playing for the Queensland Patriots open men’s team which finished third in another competition.

The remaining eight players include five from NSW, two from ACT and one from Victoria while a further four NSW players and two Queenslanders have been named on standby.

With this year being Cameron’s last in the U23 age division, the open men’s division beckons next year and beyond.


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