Josh Ferguson winds up with the bat.
Josh Ferguson winds up with the bat. Antoinette James GLA080118JOSH

There's lots at stake in preliminary rounds at championships

SOFTBALL: Several Gladstone athletes have key roles to play at the Under-17 and 15 National Softball Championships in Adelaide and Perth respectively.

Josh Ferguson is in the Queensland U17 side that is in second spot on the ladder with six wins and two losses, two games behind undefeated New South Wales.

Josh Ferguson returns from the outfield.
Josh Ferguson returns from the outfield. Antoinette James GLA080118JOSH

Queensland's only losses were 9-2 and 11-0 results against NSW. The team began with thumping 12-3 and 10-0 wins against Victoria and Western Australia respectively before its first blemish.

It then held host SA scoreless (13-0) and did the same to WA before rounding out a trio of wins with an 18-3 result against SA.

Queensland played Victoria and NSW yesterday with mixed results - a 9-2 win against the Vics and an 11-0 loss again against NSW.

Josh said there was plenty to learn from the losses against the New South Welshmen.

"Their fielding has been strong and clean and hopefully when we play them next, we can find a weakness,” he said.

"I think it will be a NSW and Queensland grand final and hopefully we can get it together by then.”

It's Josh's second state representative campaign at U17 level and he said he knew what to expect after he gained invaluable experience with Queensland duties in the U15 (twice) and U12s. Josh said he had been pleased with his form.

Queensland takes on WA and Victoria again today at noon and 2.30pm respectively.

Kirsty Lester and Leah Bertram are in the west in the U15 Queensland Flames side, which has won four matches and lost two to date.

Flames wins were against Victoria, SA Blue, WA White and NSW Country Gold and lost to NSW Metro Orange and NSW Metro Green.

It will be a fiery clash between Queensland Flames and Queensland Fire today at 11am before Flames back up with a game against WA Gold at 1pm.

Queensland Flames sit in fifth place on percentage and will vie for a finals berth against NSW Metro Green, WA Gold and SA Red.

Coach Matthew Harrison said Kirsty and Leah have impressed.

"They have been two stand-outs in the team,” he said.

"Kirsty has been fantastic at first base and nothing has gone past her.

"She has also pitched well when called upon.”

Harrison said the team has performed well, but it is working on a few connections and looking to head into the top four.

Semi-finals are on tomorrow with the grand final on Friday. Follow results on tournament/.

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