Kellyville Ridge player batters up

On the rise: Kelsey Griffen gained much-needed confidence at softball's Friendship Series where she was the leading batter. Picture: Geoff Jones

On the rise: Kelsey Griffen gained much-needed confidence at softball's Friendship Series where she was the leading batter. Picture: Geoff Jones

It may have been the Friendship Series, but softball player Kelsey Griffen admits the name didn't put her mind at ease in the days leading up to an international tournament.

The Kellyville Ridge player, who plays club softball at Cumberland/Nepean, was with nine girls' teams and seven boys' teams including four New Zealand teams at a five-day tournament at Blacktown International Sportspark recently.

The 16-year-old was nervous before she faced older players.

"I was just nervous and anxious, probably because I was one of the youngest players there, but as the tournament went on I relaxed more," Kelsey said.

"It's not easy for me to relax and I learnt that's a big part of softball.

"I ended up getting that confidence and proved by the end of the tournament that I belonged there."

The first-base fielder was solid with her glove and at the plate she showed how advanced her ability was.

She got to first base 10 times from 16 at bats, and left the tournament as the best hitter.

"I ended up winning the best batter award, which was really surprising because I hadn't been batting well leading up to the tournament.

"I'm working on my fielding, but more so my mental game because the game's 80 per cent mental."

Where to now?

Knowing she can mix it with older softball players has boosted Kelsey's self-esteem and she hopes to be one of Australia's best.

"If it got back into the Olympics I'd like to do that, but at the moment I'm just concentrating on making the NSW under-19s side," she said

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