Softball: Lea Smith off to Tasmania for Australian masters titles

New challenge: Lea Smith will make her Australian Masters softball debut in Tasmania next week. Photo: Ivan Sajko
New challenge: Lea Smith will make her Australian Masters softball debut in Tasmania next week. Photo: Ivan Sajko

LEA Smith is one of the more well-known members of the Mid North Coast Softball Association.

So it comes as a surprise to many that she will make her Australian Masters softball debut in Tasmania from October 21-28.

After playing at diamonds around the country and the odd one or two overseas, Smith is looking forward to the new challenge.

Along with Kempsey’s Michelle Nohotima, the Mid North Coast duo will join Queensland-based team Camira Amigos for the trip across Bass Strait.

“I haven’t been to an Australian masters before; I’m a rookie,” Smith said.

Pan Pacific success has followed Smith in recent years and she is hopeful joining the Amigos will see that success continue.

She joined the team in April to go to the world championships and recently they claimed a silver medal at a tournament in Queensland.

The team will don colours not usually associated with those north of the border.

“It’s good because we wear New South Wales colours even though we’re a Queensland team,” Smith said.

She admitted selection in the team was thrown open to anyone where the main focus was on enjoyment and participation.

That doesn’t mean there is any less of a competitive edge.

“I’m hoping we can medal and come away with no injuries,” Smith said.

The seven-day tournament is shorter than most other representative softball tournaments, which will allow Smith the opportunity to sight-see.

“I’ve never been to Tassie before,” she said.

“The tournament is a bit shorter than we’re used to so we will get to see the sights a bit more than usual.”

New opposition teams will present another challenge to what Smith has become used to recently.

“It’s something different playing against teams I’ve never played against at Worlds or Pan Pacs,” she said.

“There are still a couple of the usual ones like Vixens and Canberra Classics, but when you play everyone all the time you start to learn where certain teams and players hit the ball.”

Smith and Nohotima will be in the 45s division against six other teams.