New South Wales will go in as strong favourites for the 2020 Gilley’s Shield with 11 players in the squad members of the Travelodge Aussie Spirit. Leading the charge at their 4th consecutive title will be superstar Stacey Porter.
Recognised as one of the best batters in the world and having won both a silver and bronze medal in Olympic Games, Porter needs no introduction to the softball community.
Porter became the most capped international player of all time during the 2019 Asia Pacific Cup playing for her country for the 430th time passing former teammate Natalie Ward’s record of 429 games.
Taylah Tsitsikronis, Stacey McManus, Kaia Parnaby and Ellen Roberts are also among a host of stars in the Firestars line-up.
Tsitsikronis made her state debut in 2009 and plays catcher and first base. A veteran of 7 Gilley’s campaigns she has represented Australia 95 times starting in 2011. A product of the Penrith Softball Club she was presented with cap 270 for Australia and in 2013 was named Australian Junior Athlete of the Year.
McManus will be heading into her 12th Gilley’s campaign in 2020. The NSW Shortstop made her state debut in 2005 and her Australian debut at the Canada Cup in 2011. A veteran of over 100 games for Australia she has represented Australia in the 2014, 2016 and 2018 World Championships and most recently was a member of the Olympic Qualifying Team in China.
Pitcher Kaia Parnaby will play a crucial role in the defending Champions campaign. Having played professionally in Japan as well as experience in at least 4 World Championships in Venezuela, Canada and the Netherlands the 250th player capped for Australia will have more than a few opponents in her sights.
Fellow Pitcher and winner of the Lorraine Woolley Medal as the Best Pitcher in the 2019 Gilley’s Shield competition, Ellen Roberts will be another key to New South Wales 2020 campaign. The 269th capped player for Australia has represented NSW Open Women since 2008 and has racked up 7 National Titles in that time. Her experience on the international stage spanning from South Africa, New Zealand, USA and the Netherlands will be a strong drawcard for softball followers in WA come January.
The NSW Firestars will open their campaign against the South Australian Starz at 12.30pm (WSDT) on the 4th of January 2020.