Samantha Green (left), Jessica Riley and Carly Walker, with coach and team manager Jo Rucker last Friday.
Samantha Green (left), Jessica Riley and Carly Walker, with coach and team manager Jo Rucker last Friday. RICHARD FORBES

Trio, and coach, set for titles

THREE Lismore softballers will take their game to another level when they play in the North Coast State Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) side in Sydney later this month.

Samantha Green (Casino HS), Jessica Riley (Lismore HS) and Carly Walker (Richmond River) will represent the region at the annual school titles, and they will have Jo Rucker, also from Casino High, as coach and team manager.

Sam and Carly pitch for Workers Condors in the Far North Coast Softball competition, while Jessica, who is handy with the bat, plays for Dodgers.

The trio had previously represented at State championships and should be assets for the North Coast side in Sydney.

Rucker said with the side’s players located from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads it was difficult to train and see how the players work together.

“We play five Sydney and four regional sides so we’ll come up against a fair depth of talent,” she said.

“North Coast is always recognised as a strong batting side so the others know that we can be quite lethal with the bat. We still have seven players from last year but we lost a key player to the Gold Coast.”

Rucker said the side will have a nice blend of young players alongside seasoned campaigners.

“We have two State players – Lucy Lockhart and Rebecca Chapman from Tweed River High – so it’s a mix of youth and experience this year,” she said.

“It will be good to see how the younger ones develop within the side.

“Unfortunately, we won’t have a last-minute training session; I wanted to because the girls will play nine games in the three days of competition and I’d like to know they’re as prepared as they can be.

“I still expect that they’ll make the top four. I hope so; it’s basically up to them. We have a tough draw with some of the Sydney teams up first; that will test us out.

“I think that Sydney East will once again be the team to beat at the carnival.”

The NSWCHS Girls State softball titles will be held at Manly from February 23 to 25.



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