BIG CHANCE: Michael Ludkin in action for Queensland at the recent national championships.
BIG CHANCE: Michael Ludkin in action for Queensland at the recent national championships. Debbie Ludkin GLA280118LUDKIN

Ludkin hopes to make the final Steelers' cut

SOFTBALL: The crest of a wave experience continues for Gladstone softball ace Michael Ludkin.

The talented batter and pitcher was selected in the 2018 Australian Steelers' Under-19 men's 30-man squad ahead of the 2018 WBSC Junior Men's Softball World Championship which will be held in Canada, from July 7-15.

The squad will be cut from 30 to a 17-man team otherwise known as the Junior Steelers.

"Shane (Cantelmi) from Softball Australia called up on Monday at around 11am saying that I'm in that 30-man squad and the 17 players that will go overseas will be announced sometime this week or next week," Ludkin said.

He played sparingly as a 16-year-old for the Steelers' U19 team two years ago and was also the 'iceman' in Queensland's thrilling 6-5 win at the National Softball Championships in Sydney recently.

Ludkin believes both experiences will stand him in good stead to make the final cut.

"I hope so, but you never know," he said of the nothing-is-guaranteed mindset mentality that he has.

"Getting that home run was awesome and it has boosted my confidence a lot."

Ludkin will continue in training mode in Gladstone and Brisbane.

"If I do make the cut, then we will go to Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport Centre to do fitness testing in April I'm pretty sure," he said.

Without the support from Ludkin's employer, Reef City Plumbing, where he is an apprentice plumber, his softball would never had reached the heights that it has.

"I would really like to thank Andy and Jodi Grant for saying yes for the annual leave that they gave me," he said.

Ludkin said his role for the Steelers would include more as an outfielder.

But of course, as well documented, this young gun has plenty of strings to his bow at a time when his team needs it most.


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