Belles shine on diamond

February 9, 2024 BY

Grand slam: Imogene Penna, Pia Amsing, and Georgia Brown have been selected to represent Victoria as part of an all-girls baseball squad. Photo: STEVE WOMERSLEY

THREE baseballers from Bendigo have earnt a chance to shine on the diamond with the new-look Victoria Belles team this season.

Pia Amsing from Strathfieldsaye Dodgers, and Bendigo East clubmates Georgia Brown and Imogen Penna will team up in the all-girls Belles team.

Their year will include the State Charter Championships, and All-Girls Nationals.

Belles’ coach Leah Trebilcock said the team was formed in 2023 to provide more opportunities for girls playing baseball.

“This year I explicitly contacted regional clubs to make sure they knew about us, and I am so glad I did,” she said.

“I am excited to have three Bendigo girls join our squad.

“Pia, Georgia and Imogen represent the untapped potential of baseball in our regions.”

The Victorian Little League under-12 state titles will be at Knox in April.

“There’s likely to be 14 teams from across metro and country regions in two divisions,” Trebilcock said.

“The Belles will be the only all-girls team at the event.”

A goal of the Belles is versatility and being able to play all positions on the diamond.

“We encourage the girls to be all-rounders,” Trebilcock said.

Two try-outs for the Charter Champs and two more for All-Girls Nationals drew 29 players.

A venue for the All-Girls Nationals in May is yet to be declared.

“I am hopeful that Victoria snags the rights to host the first All-Girls Little League National Championships,” Trebilcock said.

“In 2023, the Belles competed against teams of predominantly boys at the national champs.

“We are incredibly proud that less than a year later there’s an entire All-Girls tournament.”

Training for Pia, Georgia and Imogen started last Saturday.

“There will be one training session per week until the end of the summer season in Melbourne,” Trebilcock said.

“The girls will have videos to watch and drills they can practice at home. Training will be upped to twice a week in March.”

As part of tournament preparations some practice matches against boy’s teams will be played.

The Belles’ coach said baseball’s popularity is on the rise.

“Girls and women’s is one of the biggest growth areas for baseball right now,” Trebilcock said.

“Most girls are playing in mixed teams at their clubs, that are still dominated by boys.

“The Belles provides an opportunity to play with and against their peers.

“It also creates the first step in the pathway for girls that might want to represent Victoria at a senior level or even play for our national team, the Emeralds.”

Trebilcock said she’s rapt to be playing a role in the journey of baseball’s future stars.

“I am able to provide them with opportunities that were not available to me,” she said of her days growing up as one of few girls playing baseball in Adelaide.