From Nuri High to national stage

On Sunday January 28, former Nuriootpa High School student Jordan Lambert, now 24, played softball for Australia Spirit national team at West Beach.

It was a quick return to reality on Monday as she started her teaching career at Salisbury East High School.

On Wednesday, February 1, she leaves for Sydney to play in the Asia Pacific Cup for the Australian All Stars.

Lambert – who played in the Sunday morning game where the Australian Spirit won 10-2 – surprisingly didn’t play in the other three fixtures, where the national team shared the series with Japanese Pro League club, Denso.

The Asia Pacific Cup tournament is important for World Series selection later this year, with the All Stars team playing against Japan, New Zealand, China and other Asian nations.

During July last year Lambert became the 282nd Australian woman to play softball for her country, debuting in the US city of Oklahoma in a World Series game against Japan.

In the 20-day North American tour she also went to Surrey, Canada, and played in the Canadian Cup.

This was followed by a tournament, where Lambert and her Spirit team mates played in Japan at the end of last year.

Lambert, who is the middle daughter of Barossa identities Ross and Cathy Lambert, started her softball with the Gawler Giants and as a 15-year-old moved down to play for West Torrens in the State League competition.

She started playing for the South Australia Starz state team as an 18-year-old and has been a consistent state representative at national titles for the past six years.

“I play predominantly at second base for Australia and the state team; for West Torrens my role is generally as a short stop,” Lambert said.

“Being presented with my Australian cap was an amazing feeling.

“You had a second to reflect on the hard work to get to this point and to be rewarded in this way was pretty special.”

Lambert had three “at bats” in her game against Denso.

Her first was a sacrifice bunt; the second was a running bunt and the third was a strong hit, caught brilliantly in the in-field.

“My strength is my speed and that’s why I’m often asked to bunt,” Lambert said.

“It was special playing in front of my family and friends on Sunday.

“Back when I was younger (in the Barossa) I played all different sports – basketball, netball, athletics and soccer.

“When I was about 17 I started concentrating on softball as my primary sport.

“My next major goal is to be picked for the world champs which is in July or August this year in Japan.

“The squad is selected after performances at the Asia Pacific Cup, so I’d like to have a strong tournament.

“Naturally with softball being in the Olympics it is an ambition to get to the 2020 games in Tokyo, but I believe I have got more opportunities in making the side for the 2024 games.

“One of my great mentors is Mel McGie, a former team mate, coach and workmate who’s been a great support and somebody who I look up to.

“I also try to balance my sporting and work commitments to have a social life as well.”

In the suburban competition Jordan plays against her little sister Regan, who is at the Glenelg Rebels Softball Club.