Bill Bailey, who plays for Warriors in Toowoomba A grade, will come to town tomorrow with the Queensland open men’s team.
Bill Bailey, who plays for Warriors in Toowoomba A grade, will come to town tomorrow with the Queensland open men’s team. Kevin Farmer

Queensland to tune up in Toowoomba

TOOWOOMBA could prove an important stop for the Queensland open men's softball team ahead of the Australian Championship in Sydney.

The Queensland Patriots are scheduled to take on the Toowoomba representative team at Kearneys Spring Sporting Complex tomorrow, weather permitting, and this will be their final tune-up ahead of the nationals which start Monday-week.

A double-header is scheduled, with game one starting at 5pm, and Queensland coach Murray Rivers says he won't be pulling any punches.

They will conduct three coaching clinics before the games to help improve the standard of softball in the Garden City but they won't be doing the Toowoomba team any favours on diamond one tomorrow night.

"They usually put up a good fight. I haven't seen their team list but they usually have a good team actually," Rivers said.

"Toowoomba plays in the state titles and they're always in the mix.

"We always get a hard game at Toowoomba but we'll be going all out. We're a week out from nationals so we can't be holding anything back."

Half of the Patriots squad is very familiar with Kearneys Spring Sporting Complex as they play in the Toowoomba Softball Association summer A grade competition.

The likes of Australian pitcher Andy Blackshaw, who has only just returned to Australia from playing in the United States, are regular fixtures in Toowoomba softball.

But they will be out to beat the hosts tomorrow.

And the number of Toowoomba A grade players in the state side will give some less-experienced talents a chance in the hosts' line-up.

Rivers is not taking the Toowoomba team lightly and believes the double-header will provide a great warm-up for the Australian Championships.

"We've been to Toowoomba a couple of times. There is a lot of talent there," he said.



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