Lillywhite set to pull on green and gold jersey for 2014 Women’s World Cup


Lillywhite to pull on the Australian jersey again for 2014 Womens Baseball World Cup

2014 marks the 14th year that Shae Lillywhite will pull on the Australian jersey and represent her country. We would forgive people who thought that this was the same article that gets pumped out once or twice a year when Shae is selected to an Aussie Squad or Team – but what we wouldn’t forgive is anyone believing that making an Australian Team is just something that ‘happens all the time’.

Lillywhite, who lives in Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula, has been part of the Big Cats family now for 13 years. At the age of 29 she is now the most capped female player to have represented Australia. Standing at a mere 158cm tall, at first glance she doesn’t look like the type of hitter who would win Women’s World Cup hitting titles, play herself onto World All-Star Teams, or make an impact as one of the best gloves in the middle infield for over a decade. But that’s exactly what she has done

But this type of thing doesn’t just ‘happen all the time’. The Springvale club has produced 7 Australian representatives over the past 14 years – Ella Holien, Jade Hough, Shae Lillywhite, Kellie Manzie, Shandelle Ross, Cat Row and Simone Wearne – but it is Lillywhite who has broken all the boundaries in women’s baseball and may quite rightly be known as the best female player to pull on the Big Cats uniform.

In 2013 she became the first ever International player to sign a professional contract in the Japanese Women’s Baseball League. She was the 2013 Baseball Australia Female Player of the Year, and in a career for the Big V that has spanned 16 years, she has been part of 12 National Championship wins.

It is a testament to the hard work and commitment that Lillywhite has for the game and developing herself that she continues to play at the highest level. Asked how she continues to motivate herself to play at World Cup level, she was quick to explain how much wearing Australia across her chest means to her

“Without question having the opportunity to play for Australia has been the best thing that has happened in my life, and it has shaped who I am today” said Lillywhite. “I love the challenge of having to keep improving to be able to push myself at the highest level, it’s something I have known for so long and something I just love to do. Obviously hitting is something I love, and although I have had the same type of swing my whole career, I am always working on small ways that I can improve it to help me be more successful more often”.

“The Springvale club has had a big impact on me as a person and a baseball player. I have always looked up to girls at the club, and I have been given so much support over such a long period of time. I am extremely thankful to all the players, both men and women, the committee and all the supporters who always do whatever they can to help me on and off the field. Some of my fondest memories in baseball are playing with the girls at Springy, memories I will never forget. I am very proud to be part of the Big Cats family”.

Lillywhite will be one of only 3 Australian players at the 2014 World Cup who have played at all 6 Women’s Baseball World Cups (Katie Gaynor & Amy McCann). But just getting there isn’t enough for Lillywhite and her teammates anymore. “It’s fantastic every time you get to earn your place on an Australian Team”, she said. “But we have a great team, and a really good program at the moment that is looking for success. We certainly aren’t going to Japan just to make up the numbers. It’s time we challenged with the best”.

A regular week for Lillywhite in preparation for this year’s World Cup includes gym sessions 5 days a week, hitting four days a week, full skills training twice a week, men’s baseball on a Saturday and then women’s baseball on a Sunday.   All this on top of work commitments that help her earn a living. But if you think she is concerned about juggling all her training and work commitments, think again.

“Of course it gets tough at times having to go from work to the gym, or get up early to fit in a training session before a day of work, but it’s what I have to do to compete with the best”, said Lillywhite. “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.

Big Cats members, supporters and fans of baseball in general can attend the “Night to Shine with the Emeralds” Function that is happening this Saturday 16th August @ Berwick Baseball Club. The Function will support Shae and all of the Emeralds across the country to get themselves to the Women’s World Cup in Japan. Baseball Australia have been very supportive in assisting the girls this year, but the reality is there is still a cost to the players who are representing their country.

“A Night to Shine” will be held in Victoria, NSW, QLD, WA and Darwin – with all proceeds from the night going directly to the players on the 2014 Australian Women’s Team. If you cannot attend but would like to purchase tickets, please go to the link below:

For more information on Shae and her Emeralds teammates, please go to the Emeralds website:

For more information about the night, please contact Shae directly on 0413-961-972.

The Springvale Baseball Club wishes Shae and the Emeralds the best of luck at the upcoming World Cup in Japan! Updates will be provided on the Springvale Facebook page throughout the tournament.