Karina Sexton in Australian baseball team again
By GEOFF HALLMANN WHEN people think baseball, they think Major League, Kevin Costner, Babe Ruth ? they rarely think Australia, let alone Olympic silver medal.
But about women's baseball?
The best they can come up with is Madonna and that corny 1990s movie League of Their Own.
For Karina Sexton, 23, of Lismore, baseball is far more serious than sitting in an armchair, sucking down her next Coke.
Local baseball has produced some exceptional talent down the years, including Olympians Barry Wappett, Michael Nind, Matt Buckley and Adrian Meagher.
There have been several Australian representatives and coaches, with Matt Gahan playing professionally in Japan and in the World Baseball Classic.
Sexton's goal is to be mentioned in the same breath for her achievements on the ball park.
She has represented Queensland for years and Australia in several World Series tournaments, winning gold and bronze medals.
Three years ago Sexton had surgery to rebuild her right shoulder.
She fought back, performing consistently in the national championships every year since the surgery, but failed to break back into the Australian side.
This year she topped the Queensland batting with a .429 average, picking up 12 hits and 17 bases, putting her among the best in the tournament.
On the mound she conceded just 2.62 runs per outing, winning one game and losing another. In the field she made just two errors for a fielding average of 0.943.
Her efforts caught the eye of the selectors and this week she was named in the Australian team for the first time since 2003.
Sexton's resilience and dedication make her one of the region's best in sport.