Pulling on White Sox to knock one out of the park
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