Swedish champions in women’s softball are Leksands BSK. They won the final series against Skövde BSK.
But this year is not only about the women’s
championship for Sweden. There’s so much more going on…
For the first time since 2003, Sweden hosted a Junior Girl's Softball Championship, proving that the game of fastpitch softball is continuing its growth in Sweden.
When the 2016 Swedish Junior Championships were played on September 24-25 in Skövde, five teams participated and played over two days on two diamonds. The final game of the tournament followed the round robin stage.
In the end, the team from Enköping took home the gold after a dramatic final game against Leksand. In the final, Enköping took an early 10-run lead only to see it reduce inning by inning, and in the last inning Leksand had the game-tying run on third base with one out - but Enköping's pitcher Ellinor Wennerberg shut down Leksand for the last two outs, thereby securing the win for the Enköping squad. Skövde Saints finished in third place, Karlslund in fourth place, and Söder in fifth place.
Ellinor Wennerberg, Enköping, took home the Most Valuable Player award after leading her team to victory.
„The focus of the tournament was not only to crown a Junior champion - but also to provide these girls with more playing opportunities and more games in order for them to continue the development as softball players,“ said Kristian Pälviä who oversees the national softball competitions in Sweden.
All five league teams had a full junior girls squad for the tournament, which is a sign of the focus on youth and junior development, which the SBSF Softball Commission have worked on over the past two years.
„Three years ago we only had five clubs in Sweden, a total of 70 or 80 players. We started up Softball Committee with a mission – to develop softball in Sweden and to focus on young players, this initiative is called the 'Softballproject'. Today we have just over 250 softball players! We still have five clubs in the regular league, but we also have four more teams, who participate in a new league called Development-series,” said Johnny Stormats, president of the Swedish Softball and Baseball Federation.
And there’s even more…Softball 2020
There’s another softball project in Sweden: ”Softball 2020”. There are eight pitchers and catchers taking part in this programme, who practice on the top level. They are going to attend a camp in the USA with Michele Smith in October. They will also meet Swedish professional hockey player Anton Strålman, who is going to talk about preparation before a game and practice.
The camp in the USA is a nine-day event, but the whole programme is, as the name implies, a four-year project. The Swedish sports ministry (RF) supports Softball 2020 financially.
/photos by Magnus Hallqvist/
-Kristian Pälviä, Johnny Stormats, Helena Novotná-