How have you learnt to overcome adversities in such a competitive level of baseball?
“It’s hard to break through but once I got some perspective, after the World Cup in 2016, I came home and I really sat down and I looked at the tournament and my performance over there and how I viewed it all. I looked at previous players who had beat me to the team and realised that I was always up against one particular player for the 1st base/DH role and when she retired it opened my opportunity to break through into that role. I can sit here and say that ‘I could have performed at that level’ but there was someone better than me, there was a World All Star 1st baseman and DH on the Australian team; how do you overcome that and try and get your opportunity? I just stuck it out and hoped that one day something might change and it did!”
You’ve played women’s baseball for 17 years, what’s been the most exciting thing to see develop over that time and do you think more attention needs to fall on certain areas for it to progress to the next level?
“It’s certainly changed a lot. It has grown from 2-3 teams taking it seriously to now every team expecting to win and wanting to win. The work ethic of the girls has increased. We don’t want to overload the players with too many training sessions but it’s evident that no one has sat down with them and guided them through the specifics; we had older mentors helping us with that.”
What are your thoughts about young girls playing baseball now, being around the boys and competing against them in state competitions?
“The fact that these regions are so supportive of girls playing on the team is so great! The girls need to participate in the higher-level competitions to get better. I remember being younger in softball and being told I would never be a hitter; I developed my swing through baseball and I was Australia’s DH in the World Cup [laughs]. All you need is opportunity.”
What would you say to a girl that might be interested in baseball but fears playing a ‘boy’s sport’?
“Trust me, the boys will be as nervous having you there as what you are of being there! Most associations are very supportive of girls joining. In Cairns we have a lot of girls playing throughout our junior program. We also have our Cairns Angles team, which is a female only team that plays in our B-Grade men’s comp.”
What’s the next move for you after playing baseball for 17 years?
“Coaching. I’ve dabbled in it for a while and I’ve noticed that the more I learn about coaching the better it makes me as a player. I hope I can offer some insight and assistance as a coach to some of the up and coming players and even the older players who maybe just need someone new to say something differently than the last person, that makes that tough thing click. Coaching is where I want to go.”
What did it mean to you to put on the Queensland uniform for the last time?
“It meant a lot to me. Putting the uniform on for the last time while we were away was pretty emotional and having the guys tell me to lead them out onto the field was incredible. It was really special.”
Do you think that you’d ever be persuaded to put the uniform back on or are you officially retiring?
“The only way I would put a uniform back on is if my daughter decided she wanted to play, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play with her, that would be really special. But that’s a good 10 years away, so we’ll see if they’ll even take me then! [laughs]