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Norrie's sights on women's league
06/03/2019 9:03 PM ET

Lisa Norrie is no stranger to firsts.

Norrie became the first women's coach in the Australian Baseball League when she linked up with the Brisbane Bandits as an assistant in 2017.

Now she has her sights on another first - a professional women's baseball league in Australia.

"It is a very exciting prospect," Norrie says.

"The thought of managing a team in the first year of the WABL would be a source of great pride.

"To be involved in the first ever women's professional baseball league (in Australia) would be another career highlight."

But despite a burning desire to be involved herself, it is the opportunities for players Norrie has worked with at state and national level which excites her most.

"As a professional league we will be attracting the best possible athletes, providing a pathway for emerging talent and ultimately growing the game at grassroots level," Norrie says.

"At the moment we don't have the ability to attract marquee import players, who would lift the standard of play and would also provide a level of interest and attraction."

Norrie - an assistant coach for the Emeralds' past two World Cup campaigns - says a professional league would lead to improved performances on the international stage.

"I think it would yield immediate results," she says.

"(Emeralds players) either play in women's teams where the talent is spread and the competition is diminished, or they play in men's teams at lower grades in positions they won't play at representative level.

"There is only one other place in the world that has a professional league and that is Japan … and they are number one in the world."

Norrie admits she did not even know Queensland had a women's baseball team when she was asked to trial in 2000 after two decades playing softball.

She has also seen plenty of talent leave baseball for her former sport, or others where they could play at a higher level.

But she is confident baseball can claw its way back with a professional league.

"I think if we had it 10-15 years ago it would have opened so many doors," Norrie says.

"We have lost a lot of players to other sports, including elite softballers.

"Having a professional women's baseball league would not only continue to attract these players but it would also keep them in our game."

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This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.