Cairns players on the ball for Queensland at national under-17s championships in Canberra

TWO Cairns softballers will be representing Queensland at next year’s national under-17 championships.

Moe Kurihara and Stevie Livingston, both 14, earned the honour after starring at the recent state titles, held on the Sunshine Coast.

Playing for a combined Cairns/Noosa team, they finished runners-up to home side Caboolture after losing the President’s Cup final 6-5.

Kurihara played second base and shortstop but impressed with the bat, while Livingston’s catlike instincts behind the plate as catcher were key to the team’s success, according to assistant coach and state selector, Liz Fresser.

“Moe was very solid with her batting – she’s a real power-hitter,” she said.

“Stevie took some really athletic takes behind the plate, threw some fast runners out, and managed some left-hand running slaps which is an advantage for someone with her foot speed. They’re both very deserving and (as bottom-age players) they both have another year in the under-17s.”

Kurihara and Livingston (the latter based in Townsville) will train with Fresser in Cairns before two more camps in late October and early in the new year to prepare for January’s national championships.