Emeralds to Continue the Dream

The Emeralds Australia’s Womens baseball team will are set to  continue their dream of ultimate success at this month’s 8th Womens World Cup of Baseball, being played for the first time
in the USA at the expansive Space Coast Stadium in Viera Florida from Aug 22nd – 31st.
After a slightly disappointing 5th place at the 2016 version of the event in Gijang Korea the team has re grouped and worked harder than ever to push towards the ultimate goal of a gold medal finish.
The team is largely intact from Korea with the addition of 3 new faces and the advantage of the extra experience and lessons learnt by a relatively young team. The Emeralds will also be bolstered by a fully fit Shae Lillywhite, who although part of the team in Korea was hampered by a serious neck injury suffered on the eve of the  tournament.
Lillywhite will be competing in her 8th consecutive Word Cup and remains one of Womens baseballs premier hitters as well as a solid infielder and her on field leadership and experience should be invaluable. Another standout addition to the team will be power hitting Victorian Abbey McLellan who will make her World Cup debut and is sure to have a big influence on the Emeralds result.
Others that the Emeralds will look to for on field leadership will be long time representatives infielder Bronwyn Gell, outfielder Chelsea Forkin and hero of our famous victory over the USA young gun pitcher Abbey Kelly.
The Emeralds who have spent the last week honing their skills and playing games in a training camp in Tampa Bay have a reasonable draw and although they have 1st ranked team and current and 5 time champions Japan and 2nd ranked and current silver medalists Canada in their pool they do have 3 very winnable games first up.  The games will be against 9th ranked Cuba, Dominican Republic ranked 13th and making their World Cup debut and then 10th ranked Hong Kong.
The top 3 teams in the both 6 team pools will go through to the super round but the Emeralds go into each game striving for victory as pool game points carry through and would make the path through the super round and into medal round so much easier.
Manager Simone Wearne and the rest of the coaching staff have left no stone unturned in their preparation and will definitely be looking to go one better than the Silver medal performance in 2012 in Venezuela.