Tanya key to success

TWEED Phantoms president Aleisha Laurie believes a good showing from Australian softballer Tanya Harding will be key to their success in this weekend’s Summer Classic at Piggabeen.

Harding’s record speaks for itself: she has achieved in excess of 25 national and international awards, as well as two national championships, one Olympic silver medal and two Olympic bronze medals, and a silver and bronze medal from world championships.

One of the most successful softball pitchers Australia has ever produced, she has been ranked in the top five pitchers in the world for the past decade, and Laurie is pleased to have her on board.

“Tanya is a wonderful softballer,” she said.

“If she gets her eye in I can’t see many players hitting her, let alone scoring.”

Harding and Laurie will take to the Diamond for the Phantoms A-Grade ladies side, alongside club stalwart Lynne Davison.

Davison has represented the Phantoms for 11 years and played six summer classics, a competition she rates among the nation’s best masters tournaments.

“The softball on display is always of a very high standard,” she said.

“Some of the men’s fixtures in particular are like watching A-grade matches in Sydney.”

Almost 170 of south-east Queensland’s best masters softballers will converge on the Tweed for the two-day extravaganza, with teams coming from as far north as Sunshine Coast.

The ladies primary challenge is expected to come from the Brisbane-based Pride club, who boast a wealth of experience and good track record at the classic.

A similar situation is expected to unfold in the men’s division, where Harding’s brother Stephen, a former Australian representative himself, will run out for the Phantoms men.

Runners-up in 2009 after stumbling at the final hurdle, the Phantoms men are out to make ammends and claim what they believe is rightfully theirs.

However they will have to see off challenges from Pride and Giants – who boast World Championship winner Dave Metekingi – as well as what is shaping as a scorching weekend weather wise.

The first ball will be pitched at 9am tomorrow with the finals to commence from 1pm Sunday.



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