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Softball season expected to hot up

Sam Field of the ATW Cruisers and Warren Stehbens of the ATW Schooners.
Sam Field of the ATW Cruisers and Warren Stehbens of the ATW Schooners. Mike Knott

BUNDABERG Softball Association fixtures for 2010/11 kicked off Saturday with just three senior A-Grade matches and junior numbers down on last season.

But new president David Field is certain things will pick up now the school holidays are over and expects another top season.

Field, who has a wealth of experience in sport, including in his job as Bundaberg Regional Council sport and recreation officer and a long-serving Bundaberg Touch Association administrator, has taken the reins from John Nairn, who stepped down.

He said despite the slow start, the stage was set for some great competition across the board during the next six months leading up to grand final day on April 2.

Field also thanked another former association president Mike Shanhun, who has given long and outstanding service to the sport during his years in Bundaberg but has now moved back to Melbourne.

Four teams will again contest the Ladies' A-Grade division, and West Panthers started in style on Saturday with an 11-3 victory over Across The Waves (ATW) in the lone top grade game played.

Brothers United will not begin their title defence until this week.

The men's division has been bolstered by the nomination of a second ATW team in the league, and the club will be keen to go one better than last season when they were the dominant side but fell at the last hurdle, going down to United.

“ATW has also brought in a Ladies' team – it has been a while since they have had one but it is more a development activity,” Field said.

The United men got off to a tardy start on Saturday with a 14-4 defeat at the hands of West Lynx, but the West Sabretooth outfit was outgunned by ATW Schooners 14-8.

So far 26 teams have been nominated across the board, but Field said further nominations would be accepted up until October 16.

He also said any men, women or juniors who still want to join a team should contact one of the clubs.

Contacts are ATW: Lee-Anne O'Leary (41593532 or 0414425860); United: David Gear (davidsharon.gear@gmail.com) or Amber Harrison (commando_ barbie88@hotmail.com); Eels: Natalie Thompson (41511192 or 0408011192); Sluggers: John and Clare Manley (41594106); and Western Suburbs: June Green (greenpp@optusnet.com.au)