Women Celebrate 20 Years – Siobhan Stephenson

Chevy Taylor

As part of the club’s 20th Anniversary of women’s baseball, we will be catching up with a number of players, coaches and supporters who have had an involvement with the program over the last 20 years. To start us off, veteran and 6-time Premiership player ‘Chevy’ Stephenson (aka, Taylor) will give us her thoughts on life as a Big Cats women’s player.

Famous for her work behind the plate, but most notably her powerful bat, ‘Chevy’ is one of the veteran Division One players that has become part of the Springy furniture. One of the stalwarts of the dominant Big Cats team that has appeared in the past 11 Grand Finals, the #3 is no stranger to pressure situations.

“My most memorable moment came against Doncaster in our very first Division One Premiership win” said Stephenson. “I came up to bat and the Doncaster coach came out and shifted the whole outfield around to the left. I have always been known as a serial pull hitter. Cat had just told me that the pitcher was throwing outside, so when I got up in the batters box, I was hoping that for once in my life I could hit to the right side. I hit a stand up triple right into the corner of the right-field fence. My first ever hit to the right side”.

Chevy began her women’s baseball career at Chelsea, and also had a stint at Moorabbin in the late 90’s. A three time Victorian representative (2006, 2007 & 2014), her list of accolades is long. She has won trophies at Springy on 10 separate occasions, including 2 Club ‘Most RBI’ trophies, a number of MVP awards and most recently, the most coveted women’s award, the Bill Reay Trophy for the Firsts Best & Fairest (2013/2014).

Her favourite coaches during her career include a couple of guys who were the catalyst for women’s baseballs progression at the club. “Greg Morley and Mick Wearne are both people who have helped me greatly over my time at the club. In particular, Greg did a lot of work with me in my early years at training working on my swing. I feel like one of the most notable improvements I have made over my time here has been the consistency of my hitting. Greg took a lot of time to work with me one on one in the cage and in bp, and it really paid off”.

There have been quite a number of great players involved with the program during Chevy’s time. When quizzed about the favourites she has played with over the years, she was quick to mention the great pitchers she has had the opportunity to catch to. “Simone Wearne, Ella Holien, Cat Row, Kel Manzie and Vic Brown. I have been really lucky and privileged to work with a great group of pitchers over the years. I have really worked hard to improve my blocking behind the dish, but the pitchers that I have had the chance to play with have certainly made my job pretty easy”.

Five times a Division 1 Premiership player, 1 Division 2 Premiership, a National Championship victory with the Victorian Team back in 2007, and a couple of Baseball Victoria awards to go with it. Chevy Taylor holds a special place in the Big Cat women’s program. A past committee member, best club person and strong contributor to the social functions held during each season, her commitment to the club since her first season back in 2002 has been impressive.

But whilst her Division One Premierships rate highly amongst her fondest playing memories, 2011 is remembered as one of Chevy’s favourite times. “In 2011 I stepped down from Division 1 to play in Division 2 with my best friends and restore my passion for the game. I had an absolute ball, and playing with some different players and young up and comers was great. The Grand Final was really a moment to remember. Playing Waverley, I caught the first 7 innings, with the game a draw. Mick told me I was coming in to pitch – much to my amazement (and I think everyone in the crowd). I pitched the 8th and 9th innings not giving up a run, allowing our team to score and come away with the win. It felt awesome to be such a big part of that game, and I think it was a great game of women’s baseball for the crowd too”.

Chevy speaks highly of the great atmosphere that has been established over her time with the big Cats. “Springvale is one collegial club. The men support the women and the women support the men. It’s great to have supporters down to watch our games, run the canteen and help out with training. Everyone gets on well and interacts, which makes it such an enjoyable place to play. I have made some great life long friends in my time at Springy, and I’d like to say thanks to all the members of the club who have helped build it to what it is today”.

The club has been lucky to have Chevy contributing to the women’s program for the last 13 years. Catch her and the girls in action this week as the Division One team take on Malvern @ home on Saturday, 3.30pm.

Stay tuned for our next interview, celebrating the Big Cats 20th year in women’s baseball.