Southland Girls' High School pupils Courtney Milne and Jazara Hopa's wildest dreams have come true - they have brought home gold and were undefeated in Australia.
Milne and Hopa played strongly for the New Zealand softball academy under-15 girls, with both playing a majority of the 14 games over seven days; Milne predominantly at first base and Hopa pitcher.
"The girls all fought hard for starting positions in the team and Milne and Hopa proved that girls from the deep south had the goods at this elite level," academy founder Craig Waterhouse said.
Both girls felt they had come away much better players.
"It's been an awesome experience to have 15 girls, who didn't know each other, from all over New Zealand come together over nine days and bond as sisters. I loved it," Milne said.
Hopa was equally as enthused.
"I've learnt so much from the whole experience. Pitching the final was a huge buzz. I loved every minute of it."
- The Southland Times