Hervey Bay softball player Savannah Ritter was selected for both Softball Queensland U17s and will tour Japan with Softball Australia's developmental Aussie Diamonds.
Hervey Bay softball player Savannah Ritter was selected for both Softball Queensland U17s and will tour Japan with Softball Australia's developmental Aussie Diamonds. Matthew McInerney

Hervey Bay softballer set for fortnight in Japan

SOFTBALL: Savannah Ritter is her own harshest critic.

We caught up at Hervey Bay Softball's diamond on Friday afternoon to talk about two huge achievements.

She had just been named in Queensland's under-17s team for the upcoming summer season, and on Wednesday will fly out for a two-week tour of Japan with an Australian developmental softball squad.

When asked of her hitting at the under-17s tournament, she described it as "shocking”.

"I think I had about two good hits in the three days,” Ritter, a right-handed hitter who focuses only on getting on base, rather than big hits, said.

Her mum offered some more context. One of those hits, one of her last of the tournament, was a home run.

Her brutal self-assessment is probably what makes her such a good sportsperson.

Hervey Bay softball player Savannah Ritter was selected for both Softball Queensland U17s and will tour Japan with Softball Australia's developmental Aussie Diamonds.
STAR: Hervey Bay softball player Savannah Ritter was selected for both Softball Queensland Under 17s and will tour Japan with Softball Australia's developmental squad Aussie Diamonds. Matthew McInerney

The 16-year-old doesn't settle for just one good hit or pitch, she is not satisfied with one or two good things.

Ritter wants to be the best she can be, and will focus on improving everything that may need work.

"I am a pitcher, so there was one game I did really well pitching and overall it was consistent, but my utility play was my best option,” she said of her selection for Queensland.

"Pitcher, catcher, shortstop, third base, outfield - they're all the ones I played. There are better pitchers out there than what I am but with my versatility means I can play anywhere else the team needs me.”

The New York Yankees fan was one of 90 to nominate interest in the Aussie Diamonds tour. She had to provide a sporting CV with information on where she played, what rep levels she reached, as well as her form.

You can't underestimate this opportunity: there could be a world championship appearance at the end should she show good form, and maintain and improve her skills.

"The side is very much a development squad for the 2020 junior world championship in Japan, it's developing the next lot of players,” Ritter said.

"I don't know much. I'm the only Queenslander in the squad and haven't met the other girls in the squad, but we'll fly over to Japan and have a full day of training together and we'll go from there with the team, in terms of how much game time we'll get.”

She had a week off after the under 17s to rest but has kept up gym work to ensure she is hitting and pitching with speed, strength and power.

Three trips to the gym each week, on top of regular training at the diamonds, and whatever extra hitting or pitching practice she gets, keeps the Hervey Bay Terrors A-grade star in tip-top shape for softball.