SOME aggressive hitting from Bathurst's Callee Black was a highlight as Western made a mixed start to its Under 16s Women's Country Cricket Championships in Queanbeyan on Monday.
The Western side skippered by Hannah Knight and featuring fellow Bathurst talents Black, Chloe Stapleton, Ella Tilburg, Gabby Bennett, Chelsea Muller and Nikera Hann managed a win in the first of their Twenty20 fixtures, but missed out in the second.
Black, who was one of the Bathurst District Junior Cricket Association's players of the season for 2019-20, finished the day with a 93.8 strike rate.
She played an important role as Western began its campaign with an 11-run over ACT Southern Districts.
Sent in to bat, Western made 116 off its 20 overs for the loss of just one wicket - that of opener Stapleton (14).
Stapleton and Parkes' Maddy Spence put on 58 for the first wicket, before number three Black helped up the run rate.
Black hit an unbeaten 30 off the 32 deliveries she faced, while Spence carried her bat, hitting six boundaries on her way to scoring 53 off 65.
In the chase ACT Southern was well in contention at the 10-over mark as they were 1-48, but Western's efforts in the field helped swing momentum more in their favour.
Tilburg was involved in pulling off a pair of run-outs, while she Black, Hann and Stapleton all took catches as just two of their rivals managed to reach double figures with the bat.
Though not taking a wicket with their bowling, Muller and Black were economical, conceding 14 and 12 runs respectively off their four overs.
ACT Southern finished at 6-105.
In the second T20 game of the day against Riverina, Western won the toss and elected to bat first, making 7-89 off their 20 overs.
It was a total that Riverina ran down in 17 overs with five wickets in hand.
Black again was aggressive when she arrived at the crease, hitting the only two boundaries of Western's innings with an unbeaten 19 off 14 balls.
Tilburg equal top scored with 19, while Knight (14 off 22) was the only other Western player to reach double figures.
Though Dubbo duo Amali McNeil and Aimee Longhurst each claimed two wickets in their three-over spells, Riverina comfortably completed the chase.
Western will play Greater Illawarra on Tuesday morning.