Pulling on White Sox to knock one out of the park

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By ES­THER LAUAKI

Six­teen year-old Katie McAn­drew plans to come out swinging when she takes to the field in the Ju­nior White Sox squad in Auck­land later this month.

McAn­drew has been se­lected for the team to com­pete in the Bev Chote Clas­sic tour­na­ment in Auck­land from Fe­bru­ary 25 to 27.

She plays short­stop for the Porirua City United Softball Club (PCU) un­der-18s side in the Hutt Val­ley Com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day nights, as well as PCU’s Premier 2 Women’s team through­out the sea­son.

She said she was ‘‘ex­cited and ner­vous’’ to have made the Ju­nior White Sox.

‘‘I was re­ally happy when we got the call. Me and Jan [Ryan, her aunt] were scream­ing hard out and we were re­ally happy. I’m one of the youngest in the team, but I’m try­ing re­ally hard, so I hope to get into the team that will travel to South Africa, but that’s se­lected af­ter the Auck­land com­pe­ti­tion.’’

White Sox coach Venita Hokai says scouts are now get­ting to ‘‘ the busi­ness end of the se­lec­tion process’’.

‘‘This is the most im­por­tant time for those who are se­ri­ous con­tenders. The in­clu­sion of three US-based play­ers [Tay­lor-Paige Ste­wart, Hay­ley Davis and El­lie Cooper] and an Aus­tralian-based player [ Alex Forsyth] strength­ens the in-house com­pe­ti­tion amongst squad mem­bers.’’

McAn­drew says she has played softball ‘‘for­ever, since I was able to play’’, start­ing T-ball at five years old, and has al­ways dreamed of mak­ing the na­tional team.

‘‘I just love softball. If some­one was like, ‘ What’s your favourite thing to do?’ It would be softball.

‘‘ All my cousins play, or used to play, and my brother plays.’’

Al­ready this year, she has rep­re­sented both the Welling­ton un­der-17 and un­der-19 girls’ teams at na­tion­als. The for­mer took out its grade, the lat­ter placed fourth.

McAn­drew was se­lected in the tour­na­ment teams for both age-groups and has also been cho­sen to rep­re­sent Welling­ton in the Na­tional Fastpitch Com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land on Fe­bru­ary 17 to 20.

Bring it on: Porirua City United’s Katie McAn­drew was se­lected for the Ju­nior White Sox squad to travel to Auck­land later this

month.

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