Callum Beashel wasn’t sure he had put in the best performance at the Australian Softball Regionals, but plaudits ranging from Player of the Final to Rookie of the Year and a spot in the All-Tournament Team for 2018 certainly show his pedigree.
The Newcastle representative was named as the stand-out player as NSW Open Mens pipped the ACT team in a tight 2-1 affair, with Beashel’s influential diving catch in the sixth inning the highlight of the match.
“I wasn’t really sure if I was going to make it [to the ball], it was hit really well and they were in a really good position so I just went for it,” Beashel admitted.
“I wasn’t even really thinking about how good of a catch it might have been, all I could think about was getting to the end with the lead intact.
“I’m honestly not sure how it happened, I really just got there on time and just dove.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Beashel’s NSW squad on the road to claiming the John Reid Shield however – the team was defeated in all three of the opening matches of the tournament.
Their record finished with five wins and four losses however, earning them a spot in the qualifying finals series.
“We had to pretty much win every game in the finals series, if you lose at that point you’re out,” Beashel explained. “
Their march through the third-fourth play-off and the semi-final saw inspired performances from the entire country rep squad, booking their spot in the eventual glory of the grand final.
For Beashel, his ‘dive for the cameras’ was just a small part of the long series that the team had been involved in, and is just cherry on the top of a very well-earned cake.
“I wouldn’t say that we were expecting it all to go the way it did, but we had a goal to win the national championship since we all got selected,” he said.
“We had the belief that we could get there, and we knew the depth and skill of our team. Even our bench players were really competent and everyone came together in those finals series.
“They were all so close but we kept the faith. It paid off in the end.”
Although Beashel’s match-winning catch that stopped two runners from scoring near the end of the game can easily be pointed to as the highlight, the humble Novocastrian pointed to his teammate as the best on field.
“I don’t think I was the best there to be honest, our pitcher Harry Peters pitched the entire final series, all three games,” he said. “He pitched two full games on the last day and marked up nineteen strike-outs, so if anyone was going to get it, it should have been him.”
“I personally was just there to help the others play their best, I just wanted to win and do my part for the entire team. It was certainly a highlight of my career.”
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