GLADSTONE couldn't miss heading into the Australian Regional Softball Championships grand final last weekend as Daniel Ludkin represented the Storm and Connor Marek the Thunder in the decider.

But for the two players, it meant one half of the Gladstone contingent was going to be disappointed.

After not losing a match on the way to the final, it was Daniel 'DJ' Ludkin's Storm who finally relented to the Thunder's might.

"I would have preferred to win, it was disappointing but I was glad it was not New South Wales who beat us," DJ said. 

Connor Marek helped his Queensland Thunder team to the Australian Regional Softball Championship played in Blacktown, NSW.
Connor Marek helped his Queensland Thunder team to the Australian Regional Softball Championship played in Blacktown, NSW. Contributed

"They (the Thunder) got a few quick runs and led from there. Towards the end, we caught up but lost 7-4."

Ludkin is much younger than the rest of the competition's players, picked in the under-15 tournament at 12.

He surprised himself with his ability on the field.

"I was a bit nervous, but once I started playing, I was as good as the others," he said.

"I was second most in outs for the team playing shortstop and left field."

On the other side of the result was Marek, the 14-year-old tasting success in his first national tournament.

Although feeling a bit strange by beating his fellow Gladstone player, Connor was all smiles after securing victory.

"I was amazed, I could not believe it," he said. "We felt invincible.

"It felt a little weird but we usually play locally. I now want to see how far I can go in softball."

For Marek, another year will push him into the next age group and force him to take the next step up.

DJ, meanwhile, has another two chances at playing the same age group.

SILVER LINING: Daniel Ludkin’s team finished runner-up at the Australian Regional Softball Championships won by fellow Gladstone player Connor Marek’s Thunder.
SILVER LINING: Daniel Ludkin’s team finished runner-up at the Australian Regional Softball Championships won by fellow Gladstone player Connor Marek’s Thunder. Jake Jones

Storm and Thunder Results

Storm:

  • Beat NSW Country Gold 16-2
  • Beat Thunder 7-6
  • Beat NSW Metropolitan Green 5-1
  • Beat ACT 13-4
  • Beat SA 8-7
  • Beat NSW Metro Orange 4-1
  • Semi-final beat NSW Metro Orange 5-0
  • Final lost to Thunder 7-4

Thunder:

  • Lost to Storm 7-6
  • Lost to NSW Metro Orange 9-8
  • Beat NSW Country Gold 11-4
  • Beat SA 13-1
  • Beat ACT 14-2
  • Lost to NSW Metropolitan Green 5-3
  • Semi-final beat NSW Metro Green 8-6
  • Final beat Storm 7-4


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