Ward to become softball’s most capped player
7 July 2006
Australia’s short-stop and co-captain Natalie Ward will break Australia’s record for most game appearances when Australia takes on China in today’s 2006 Canada Cup.
It will be Ward’s 357th game for Australia, surpassing former Australian great Sally McCreedy who set the record of 356 in 2002, during the Canada Cup.
The 30-year-old from New South Wales made her debut during the Japan Test Series in 1994 and is passionate about the game saying, “it makes me proud to be able to represent my country at the highest level, but I don’t see it about the number of games I’ve played, but about the opportunities I’ve had in a game that I love.”
The three-time Olympic medallist has made a major contribution to the game, playing a vital role in the successes of the Australian Open Women’s softball team, Aussie Spirit, since her international debut, playing in three International Softball Federation’s Women’s World Championships (1994, 1998, 2000).
Dubbed the glamour girl of softball, Ward is a fantastic role model for junior athletes, bringing a strong determination to succeed and never shying away from opposition players or tough situations in a game.
Head Coach Fabian Barlow said that Ward is the type of player that is more focused on the team’s performance than her own, but being such a quality player awards come her way.
“Nat rises to the pressures of the game and is one of the best players I have seen in tight situations. She will often make the play or get that final hit to help Australia over the line.”
Ward started playing at age of 10 and is the finest short-stop Australia has produced.