Tayla’s sacrifice

Swinger: Tayla shows her batting style.Swinger: Tayla shows her batting style.

SOFTBALL champion Tayla Supple will spend Christmas on a plane as she travels around South Africa for the junior women’s softball world championships.
The 19-year-old softball powerhouse has ramped up training ahead of her voyage and said sacrifices were all part of the game.
“South Africa has been a big goal for a long time so I really can’t wait to head over.
“It’s a big step to play international teams and we’ll be over there for almost a month.”
Supple’s selection into the world championship side bolsters a stellar year for the teen who’s also gained selection into senior and junior state sides.
Supple, who began softball at age five, currently travels to Melbourne to train four times a week.
She made the under-19 state team earlier this year and open women’s state team just last month.
The Australia Women’s under-19 squad sits third on the world ladder.
“This year the team went from a squad of 32 down to 22 and then I made the last cut down to 17,” she said.
“We had camps before each cut and played games against the senior Australia team.
“That was great because it gave us a good indication of where our team is at and the competition we will face when we go to the worlds.”
Supple said although she enjoyed all aspects of the game, batting remained her favourite part of competition.
“It’s pretty easy to raise the bat up and down but the difficult part is the mental challenges involved,” she said.
“You’ve got to remain so focused on distance and timing.”
Supple studies health science at Deakin University and wants to specialise in sports science.
She flies out to South Africa in late November ahead of the December competition.