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Milestone for Springvale women's programme

Kingsley Collins

1 April 2015


Recognised nationwide as a trailblazer in women’s baseball, outer-suburban Melbourne club Springvale this summer celebrated twenty years in Baseball Victoria women’s competition, with the promise of many more productive times to come.


To mark the occasion, Springvale Baseball Club has published a pictorial history of its women’s programme, including articles written by Baseball Australia Hall-of-Famer Simone Wearne and supplementary material provided by some of the 150 ladies who have been involved since the inaugural 1994/95 season of women’s baseball in Victoria.  


Fielding three women’s teams in Summer League since 2011, Springvale Baseball Club has been blessed with some wonderful administrators who have been fully supportive of the women’s programme in the knowledge that its success is fundamental to the health of any club that seeks to develop a genuinely inclusive family and community focus.


Life Member, player, former President, former Club Coach and a current member of the women’s staff, club patriarch Mick Wearne is just one of many persons who have committed to the success of the Springvale women’s programme over two decades.


“I have learnt over many years now that there is no reason women can’t play baseball at a very competitive level, and get just as much enjoyment from the game as men,” Mick Wearne said.


“One thing I have always admired about the girls is that they want to learn. No matter how young or old, or how late in life they have taken up the sport, their commitment to the game is fantastic,” he said. “That is one reason I have continued my involvement for so long. If the girls were going to commit, then I couldn’t really say no.”


Enjoying regular Summer League success at all levels – including the last three Division One titles -  Springvale has been a dominant force in women’s baseball for the past ten years as quality players have either been produced from within or have been drawn to the club to partake of opportunities and share in the fun.


Names such as Shae Lillywhite, Simone Wearne, Jade Hough, Victoria Brown, Siobhan Taylor and Kellie Manzie-Novotnoy are among the many that have become synonymous with the Springvale women’s programme, which has enjoyed the services of some outstanding imports such as Risa Nakashima.  


While the Springvale Baseball Club has been prolifically represented at state and national level for many years, success of its women’s component remains about far more than winning titles – regardless of how rewarding that may be.


Committed to its programme well into the future, the club prides itself on offering playing and social opportunities to  people of all ages and all skill levels in an environment where all are supported, encouraged and are treated equally.


The club approach is encapsulated in an early remark made in the publication, “Celebrating Twenty Years of Women’s Baseball”:


“Premierships aside, getting the chance to play the great game of baseball, making lifelong friends, and sharing wonderful memories…..that is what being a Big Cat Chick is all about”.


A fascinating read for any baseball supporter, "Celebrating Twenty Years of Women’s Baseball at Springvale Lions Baseball Club" is available for purchase directly from the club for $ 20.00. Email or telephone 0402 562390.




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