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Softball Australia releases preliminary Olympic roster for Tokyo 2020

Softball Australia releases preliminary Olympic roster for Tokyo 2020
12/02/2020
Australia Head Coach Laing Harrow said selecting the country's 20-best female softballers was difficult with a number of players narrowly missing out.

Softball Australia announced a 20-athlete roster to play for the National Team in the 2020 National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) season, as a warm-up for the fifth Australian participation at the Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo.

Following the Australia Pacific Cup and Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball tournaments, candidates will travel to USA in late May and compete in the NPF season, under the banner of the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota.

“Our inaugural season with the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota in 2019 was crucial for our High Performance program which enabled us to go through the WBSC Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifier event undefeated,” said David Pryles, Chief Executive Officer of Softball Australia. “We are delighted to continue this relationship in 2020 to use it as a springboard for our Olympic campaign.”

Australia’s Head Coach Laing Harrow says choosing just 20 athletes was difficult with a number of players narrowly missing out.

“There was always going to be tough decisions to be made in a couple of positions, especially in an Olympic year,” said Harrow. “We had a lot of strong performers in the last couple of weeks out at Blacktown during the AP Cup and Summer Slam, and we’re confident in the squad we’ve picked to travel over to USA for the NPF.”

Of the 20 selected, only two players have Olympic experience, pitcher Justine Smethurst in 2008 and Australian captain Stacey Porter in 2004 and 2008.

All 20 have previously represented Australia at international level.


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Following the NPF in late June, the final team of 15 will be selected for the Tokyo Olympic Games before flying to Japan where they’ll take part in a short training camp based in Ota City.

Australia has a proud history at the Olympics in softball, winning a medal in every Games the sport has been included in, with a Silver medal in 2004, and Bronze in 1996, 2000 and 2008.

A training camp for the squad will be held at the Australian Institute of Sport from 4-8 March.

Australia’s roster includes:

  • Janice Blackman, Qld - Mariners Softball Club
  • Michelle Cox, NSW - Davidson Softball Club
  • Chelsea Forkin, Qld - Bears Softball Club
  • Leigh Godfrey, WA - Freemantle Mariners
  • Rachel Lack, NSW - Wahroonga Softball Club
  • Stacey McManus, NSW - Southern Storm Softball Club
  • Tahli Moore, NSW - Kissing Point Softball Club
  • Kaia Parnaby, NSW - Saints Softball Club / North Shore District Softball Association
  • Leah Parry, WA - Freemantle Mariners
  • Gabbie Plain, NSW - Macarthur Softball Association
  • Stacey Porter, NSW - Panthers Softball Club
  • Ellen Roberts, NSW - Kissing Point Softball Club
  • Justine Smethurst, Qld - Panthers Softball Club / Softball Far North Queensland
  • Carmelle Sorensen, Qld - Panthers Softball Club
  • Tarni Stepto, NSW - Davidson Softball Club
  • Taylah Tsitsikronis, NSW - Penrith Softball Club
  • Jade Wall, Qld - Saints Softball Club / Davidson Softball Club
  • Clare Warwick, ACT - Boomerangs Softball Club
  • Belinda White, SA - Sturt Falcons
  • Tamieka Whitefield, Qld - Scorpions Softball Club