Three Southlanders off to Sydney softball
Three Southland softballers head to Sydney next week for the International Friendship Series.
Southland Girls' High School duo of Kloe Milne and Lucy McIntyre and Tia Tuhakaraina, of Menzies College, are in New Zealand teams that will square off with Australian state sides at the Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney from June 30 to July 4.
Milne and Tuhakaraina are playing for the New Zealand International Softball Academy, while McIntyre is in the White Sox Development team. Both teams were selected from the national under-19 and under-17 tournaments at Nelson and Hastings during the summer.
The White Sox Development team was chosen by New Zealand selectors.
Milne (pitcher and second base) and McIntyre (short stop and outfielder) are 17-year-olds and have been Southland representatives for six years.
They were in the Girls' High team that was second at the Southland secondary schools' Arena Softball Series in March. Girls' High also finished second in South Island secondary schools' championship in Invercargill last year.
Milne played for the New Zealand International Softball Academy's under-16 team at two tournaments in Los Angeles in 2012.
She and McIntyre were in the Mainland team at the national under-19 championship at Nelson in January. However, Milne was forced out of the championship with a broken ankle on the first day.
The Girls' High students have played for Southern Pride at national tournaments, including the Southern Cross Challenge at Christchurch in April.
It was a rich lineup of teams for the Challenge, with final standings being: New Zealand White Sox, first; Queensland Heat, second; Canterbury Red Hawks, third; Canterbury Development, fourth; Southern Pride, fifth.
Milne and McIntyre have their sights set on making a White Sox team in the future.
"I love playing softball, love the atmosphere and we [players] get on well together," Milne said.
McIntyre said: "Softball's fun and it's taken me throughout the country."
- The Southland Times