State pitch: Softballers state selection

LOCAL softball prodigies Becky Havis and Rachael Bryan are heading to Canberra to represent South Australia later this month.
The Gawler & Districts representative players were selected for the Softball SA Dragons’ talent academy during the off-season, and will compete for the under 15s in the Canberra Australia Day Softball Carnival, held between January 26-28.
At just 14 years of age, Havis has been playing softball for the past six years, making her state debut at the SAPSASA national softball championships in 2014, where her side finished third in Australia.
The Kangas’ player and Faith Lutheran College student said she can’t wait to take on the nation’s best softballers again.
“I’m excited, really excited, super-duper keen,” she said.
“(The 2014 championships) was the best week of my life, it’s crazy how good the competition is there.
“The pitchers were as fast as A-grade pitchers – New South Wales are the biggest and the best.”
Havis said she loves softball and would like to play competitively one day, with her ultimate goal to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
She hoped the upcoming national competition will give her an idea of how she compares with the best.
“I’m going (to Canberra) to learn heaps of new stuff, to keep improving and building my skills – and to make friends,” she said.
“I’d love to play in the Australian squad and get to Australian level in the future.
“I just want to keep playing for as long as I can.”
Meanwhile, the Australia Day competition will be Bryan’s first-ever state representation, having only played softball for three years.
The Bluejays player and Gawler & District College student said she has mixed emotions about the tournament.
“I’m nervous, but I’m mainly excited, it’s a good
team – they’re all really easy to get along with,” she said.
“I want to make new friends and develop my skills.”
Bryan said she couldn’t believe it when she was named as one of the members of the SA squad.
“I was really shocked, I thought it’d been a mistake, I didn’t think I’d done it,” she said.
“When we ordered uniforms and I met them all it all seemed real.”
Bryan is working towards a US scholarship when she finishes school and said making the Australian team is
“high up on the to-do list”.
“I’m hoping to play at the Olympics one day,” she added.
The duo is following in the footsteps of their champion mothers, Chevy Havis and Kelly Bryan, who are renowned within the Gawler & Districts Softball Association.

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Steph Konatar was an intern at The Bunyip during her Bachelor of Journalism degree. After completing her course, Steph moved to Dubbo, NSW, for her first industry job at The Daily Liberal, before moving to Queanbeyan, NSW to pursue her dream of sports journalism. Steph moved back to Adelaide in late 2015 and soon started work at The Bunyip. She plays Aussie rules for West Adelaide and loves basketball and the NBA.

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