From playing teeball on Saturday mornings as kids to representing their country on the big stage as adults, a group of talented players from Penrith City Softball Association (PCSA) are proving dreams can come true if you work hard and persevere.
PCSA superstar and Tokyo Olympian Taylah Tsitsikronis is locked in to represent Australia at two tournaments – this month’s Canada Cup International Softball Championship and July’s The World Games in the United States.
Speaking with the Weekender, PCSA VP of Representative Affairs, Jo Beach, said the 27-year-old catcher continues to lead the way for the association.
“Taylah is an amazing ambassador for PCSA, we are super proud of all her amazing achievements – representing PCSA, NSW and the Aussie Spirit national team,” she said.
“Taylah had a phenomenal National Championships representing NSW and was one of the outstanding players at the Open Women’s National Championships in Adelaide.”
Also in the mix to represent their country on the world stage are three local male softballers – Matthew Beach, Jeremy Garland and Jarred Garland – who have been named in the Australian Men’s U23 World Cup squad.
While the trio will learn if they’ve made the cut for Argentina in the coming weeks, Beach said she’s immensely proud of all that they’ve achieved so far.
“PCSA is super proud of all of these young men, they are awesome ambassadors for Penrith City and have been for many years,” she said.
“They all played amazing representing NSW at the recent 2022 U23 Men’s National Championships in Victoria, and it’s rewarding to see Matthew, Jeremy and Jarrad selected in the Australian squad based on their performances.
“The three of them are now in the mix for the World Cup and we wish them all the best for the final team selection.”
For pitcher Jeremy Garland, he’s also eyeing off a spot in the Australian Men’s Softball Team, the Aussie Steelers, after being selected in their 2022 squad by Softball Australia.
Beach said it’s “brilliant” to see talent such as Garland’s recognised by national selectors.
“Jeremy being in the mix to make two national teams certainly shows the quality star player that he is fast becoming on the diamond,” she said.
“Jeremy shone brightly representing Australia at the 2020 WBSC U18 Men’s World Cup in New Zealand and has no doubt caught the eye of Aussie Steelers coach Laing Harrow after his performances representing NSW at the U23 Men’s National Championships recently.”
PCSA is also congratulating Bridie Murphy and Shaylan Whatman for being named in the 2022 Aussie Spirit Development Squad recently, with Whatman selected in the final team by Softball Australia.
“It’s absolutely amazing seeing Bridie and Shaylan named in the Aussie Spirit Development Squad, they have both been playing amazing softball over the last 12 months,” Beach said.
“For Shaylan, in particular, to make the final team is a massive honour and huge step forward as she’s been playing College Softball in the USA for the last three years. It shows she’s on track in her softball journey for higher representative honours in the green and gold.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.