Black Sox held scoreless against US club side

TONY SMITH
Last updated 18:25 29/06/2012

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The Black Sox hardly had the greatest buildup for a major softball tournament in New York this weekend after a scoreless draw in Pennsylvania.

The five-time world champions were held to 0-0 by the Pennsylvania Power at Patriots Park in Allentown yesterday (NZ Time). Softball games rarely end in draws with extra innings usually played but the exhibition encounter in Allentown concluded after seven regulation innings.

Black Sox manager Carl Gould said the New Zealanders ''had a couple of opportunities to score but didn't'' while pitcher Tane Richardson, who had been struggling earlier in the tour, rebounded to shut out the batters from Pennsylvania, North America's fifth-ranked club team.

The first pitch at Patriot's Park was thrown by International Softball Federation Hall of Famer Ty Stofflet, who pitched the United States to a share of the 1976 world championships title in Lower Hutt.

''This particular game will soon fade and be gone but to meet a living legend [Stofflet], is something I will remember till the day I die,'' Gould said.

Stofflet took 32 strikeouts to New Zealand ace Kevin Herlihy's 20 in a 20-innings duel in 1976 before Stofflet batted in the winning run.

Gould said Stofflet ''relived memories from the marathon game'' in conversation with the Black Sox management. ''He laughed hardest when he remembered how police were chasing the male streaker with blankets to cover him and how he looked like he was going to do himself a mischief trying to hurdle the fence.''  

The Black Sox will today play in the 12-team Peligro Cup tournament in New York City alongside the Argentinian national team, the Lanceros club team from Venezuela and leading North American clubs led by the number one-ranked New York Gremlins, who boast Australian pitching ace Andrew Kirkpatrick and former Black Sox infielder and ex-baseball professional Travis Wilson.

The opening games are to be played at a softball-baseball field in the The Bronx, opposite the New York Yankees' baseball stadium where America's most famous franchise will be playing the Chicago White Sox. Peligro Cup organisers hope to attract spectators leaving the Yankees game to watch the softball action.

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- Fairfax Media

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