The Tocumwal Public School girls’ softball team has had their most successful year in the school’s history after reaching the final seven teams in the NSW Primary Schools Sporting Association (PSSA) Knockout competition.
All good things must come to an end, however, and so it is for Tocumwal after the team were defeated in the state quarter final this week.
TPS’s journey began in March when they took on the much larger Narrandera PS and then in May, Lavington PS before defeating the fancied Lake Albert PS team in June to become Riverina champions.
As a result, TPS travelled 11 hours each way in August to take on the winners of the South Coast region, Pambula PS.
Instead of being overawed by the occasion and travel, the TPS girls played their best game defeating the home team 22 to 14.
This put TPS into the last seven teams in NSW and the state quarter final which was scheduled to be played in Tocumwal forcing the Sydney South West champions, the very strong Panania Public School, to come to the Riverina.
After travelling more than 2500km in their previous four games, it was a relief for Tocumwal to have a home game.
Principal Darren White said that it was fantastic for the families and members of the local community to be able to watch and support the girls.
“We had played only one of our first four games at home so to not have to travel again was a great relief,” he said.
The quarter final was hard fought from the start with accurate pitching and skilful fielding from both teams to see the first innings ending even but it was from there that Panania drew ahead to win 12 to 2.
The scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the game with both sides pushing to the end.
TPS coach Beth Hatty said she was extremely proud of the girls’ efforts.
“They have given up their own time since February to train during lunch breaks,” she said.
“Many of the girls are playing softball for the first year and have made significant improvements due to their dedication and enthusiasm.
“They have been a joy to coach throughout the year and they should feel very pleased with the year they have had.
“Yesterday’s game was a fantastic team effort with all girls contributing but a massive congratulations must go to pitcher Katya Eddy and catcher Tully Jones who shouldered the bulk of the workload.”