Personal Info (from left to right)
Sandra Allen is a 5’7” 126 lb 25 year old right handed outfielder from Blacktown New South Wales. She took up softball because both her mother and sister played. Sandra was on Australia’s Olympic team in Sydney in 2000. Sandra is single.
Fiona Crawford is a 5’2” 123 lb 27 year old right handed shortstop/second baseman from Sydney. She followed her two sisters’ footsteps in taking up softball. Fiona was also on the Sydney Olympic team but had to sit out the 2001 season with a shoulder injury. Fiona is married.
Brooke Wilkins is a 5’9” 159 lb 30 year old left handed pitcher/first basemen from East Brisbane Queensland. Like her teammates she tool up softball because of her sister. Brooke was on the Aussie softball team for both the Sydney and Atlanta games. Brooke is single.
Kerry Wyborn is a 5’6” 137 lb 26 year old left handed hitting outfielder from Werrington, New South Wales. Kerry started playing softball at 11 as a summer sport. Athens will be Kerry’s first Olympics but she did play on the Australian team during the 2002 World Championships in Canada.
Australian Softball Success
Australia fields a very successful softball squad having won bronze medals in both Sydney and Atlanta. The highlight of their Olympic experience was a victory over the 1996 Olympic champions, the USA, in Sydney in 2000. Peta Edebone was inspirational, hitting a two run home run to put the Aussie Spirit ahead 2-1. However, Australia faced Japan in the major semifinal and the team was unable to score a run, which put it into the preliminary final against the USA. The winner of this game would advance into the gold medal game with the loser taking the bronze medal. Unfortunately, Australia could not score off the USA’s power pitchers and finished the Olympic Games with another third place finish.
Aussies in Athens
The Aussies have continued to have softball success in this Olympics. They opened the preliminary round with a 4-2 win over Japan. Brooke Wilkins was the starting pitcher but was quickly relieved when she walked 5 batters in 2/3 of an inning. Wyborn and Allen both went hitless in three at bats but Crawford went 1-2 with an RBI.
In their second game, the Aussies dropped a 10-0 game to the USA. The game was called after 5 innings because of the 10 run rule. Wilkins got the loss when she gave up 2 earned runs in just a third of an innings work. Neither Crawford, Wyborn, nor Allen could scratch out a hit in their at bats.
Australia followed that big loss with a thrilling 1-0 victory over Chinese Taipei in game three. Kerry Wyborn had a hit and a walk and scored the game winning run. Sandra Allen scratched out a hit but Fiona Crawford failed to get one in her two at bats.
Game five was another thriller. The Aussies and China ended regulation play in a scoreless tie but a throwing error by the Chinese third baseman allowed the Aussies to put 5 on the board in the top of the eighth to earn their third win 5-0. Wybord, Allen, and Crawford all scored runs in the big eighth inning rally.
Game six was another 1-0 nail biter win for the Aussie squad. This time they scored in the top of the second and held on for the victory over Canada. Wyborn managed to finagle a walk but Allen went hitless it three tries. Crawford sat this game out and Wilkins continued to ride the pine following her two disappointing showings in the first two games.
The Aussies continued their winning ways with a 4-2 victory over Greece in the final game of the preliminary round. This time Allen sat the game out while Crawford and Wyborn failed to get a hit in each of their three at bats. Brooke Wilkins once again failed to get out of the first inning. This time she walked five and gave up two earned runs in just a third of an innings work.
That win over Greece assured the Aussies of an Olympic medal. They advance to the medal round as the second seed along with the #1 seeded USA squad, China and Japan.
The Aussies will meet the all powerful USA Team, who has yet to give up a run in Olympic competition today, with the winner advancing to the Grand Final title game on Monday. The loser will then have to play the winner of the China/Japan game for the right to be the second participant in Monday’s Grand Final.
Aussies out of uniform
Today’s medal round game will be shown late tonight on CNBC during the 2am-6am EDT slot. If you happen to be an insomniac you might want to turn it on or alternatively set your TiVo system (unabashed plug – if you haven’t already, get a PVR they will change your TV viewing habits) to record this slot.
2000 Sydney Olympics
This year’s Aussie softball girls are just carrying on a tradition set by their teammates in Sydney four years ago. Here are the shots of the 2000 team but, unfortunately don’t have the girls’ names so I can’t be sure if there are any repeat performers or not.