Waimea College's men's softball team, the Waimea Sonix, are looking to take on some tough games in the next few weeks in the buildup to the secondary schools tournament next month.
Coach Tui Fisher says they certainly had that in their club game on Saturday. Stoke Eagles women beat Sonix 5-4, knocking them out of their top-of-the-table position in the mixed men's and women's league.
"Everyone was pretty quiet after the game, but it does them good to have a loss instead of winning by mercy. We don't get many seven-innings games," she said.
The match began routinely with both sides remaining tight in the field and the game scoreless until the third innings, when Kyle Fraser got on base and Brad Fisher hit a home run to centre field to bring them both in.
"That hit fired the team up," said Fisher.
It took Stoke a couple of innings to reply but they managed to tie the game up at 2-all with a two-bagger from Daryl Stratford which brought in Abbie Cook and Paige Lovell.
Sonix's Lincoln McBride secured a walk in the bottom of the fifth, stole second and third and managed to come home after a fumble in the field. Sonix scored again in the sixth innings after Kierran Waugh hit to centre field and ran three bags. He came home on a Ben Coutts hit and managed to avoid the tag.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh innings two runs behind put pressure on Stoke but they were in the same position in the batting order when their first two runs were scored. Stratford again scored Cook but he and Lovell were stranded on bases and needed to come home to take the game.
Brenda Thompson hit to the infield and through a series of field errors and runner distraction, both Lovell and Stratford came home before Thomson, the third out, was tagged in a slide at second.
After sitting at the top of the table for some time, Sonix are now first-equal with Royals Maverix. Both teams have lost only twice, both Maverix's losses coming at the hands of Sonix. Sonix's previous loss was to Maverix.
"We will have to face Maverix again no doubt and we look forward to that," Fisher said. "We will try and get some A-grade games in the coming weeks too. As we build up to the secondary schools competition we need some tough competition, which is why playing a seven-innings game against the Eagles was good for us."
The secondary schools competition will be held in Invercargill from March 19. Having finished fourth last year and third the year before, the Waimea College team are hoping to better that this year.
In other results: Royals xtReme 23 beat United R&B 21, Stoke Eagles women 27 beat United Black Hawks 11, Royals Maverix 15 beat United Warriors 4, Waimea Sonix 19 beat United Warriors 0, Royals Maverix 15 beat United Vikings 1, Nelson College Gators 14 beat Royals xtReme 4, Stoke Eagles Men 13 beat United Pirates 0.
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