By Tricia Mifsud
CHEETAHS Softball Club celebrated the contributions of long-time member Deanne Lee who played her 500th game for the club at the weekend.
She joins her sister Venessa, who has already reached the milestone, both leading the way at the City of Whittlesea based Cheetahs for most games played by an individual.
Lee said reaching her 500th game took ‘forever’, as she spent a 10-year spell focusing on baseball, but the birth of her own and her sister’s children brought her back to playing softball.
“I started playing softball when I was seven, but I had probably 10 years or more where I didn’t play softball and focused on baseball,” she said.
“But once the kids were born and old enough, both Venessa and I thought ‘maybe we should start again’, and at the time, the both of us were around our 400th so we thought let’s play a couple of seasons and reach that.
“[We’re] many more seasons on now and we’re both here with 500. I was only aiming for 400 but this is great to have reached 500.”
Lee said the Cheetahs were now a part of her family, and she couldn’t picture any other softball club that she, or the rest of the family, would ever play for.
“We came back to the same club after all those years and it felt like we never left. It’s just one big family,” she said.
“I couldn’t go anywhere else, we’re a piece of the furniture at this club now.”
The weekend was topped off with a 19-3 victory in favour of the Cheetahs against DP Phoenix.
Both sisters’ children were there to watch Ms Lee play, as well as their parents, who travel each weekend wherever the Cheetahs play to watch their daughters and grandchildren.
Lee joked she would be at the club playing with ‘walking sticks and wheelchairs’ so her daughter Hanna could not take over the record. Hannah currently sits near 350 club games.
Lee said while she was capable of playing, she would remain at the club with her family.
“I just love it, and both Venessa and I will keep playing for as long as we’re capable,” she said.
“It’s a sport that it doesn’t really matter what age you are, and one can play from kids through to masters. There’s even quite few people in their 60s that we play against.
“We just want to thank the club for all their support to the two of us and our families, and recognise how much of a family-orientated club it is.”