White Sox drop second world champs game
The New Zealand White Sox face a vital clash against Great Britain this morning to boost their hopes of qualifying for the women’s world softball championships playoffs in Canada.
Namoi Shaw’s White Sox had a one-win one-loss record after the first two days’ play at Whitehorse, Yukon.
New Zealand beat Mexico 7-3 in the tournament opener on Saturday but crashed 7-0 in five innings to Olympic Games champion Japan yesterday.
Japan and host nation Canada lead New Zealand’s section with two wins from two, followed by the White Sox, Australia, Great Britain and Italy, who are all one-and-one.
Australia are expected to progress with Japan and Canada to the top-eight bracket, leaving the White Sox, Great Britain and Italy to duel for the fourth berth from Section B.
Japan, who amassed eight safe hits, did the damage against New Zealand in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs after a shaky start by White Sox pitcher Megan Farrell and a costly infield error.
Farrell walked three batters and gave up two hits, including a two-bagger. Japan’s number two batter Nishiyama Rei got the first free pass and Farrell then conceded a base-hit to Okubo Misa and another walk Yamada Eri.
Rei scored when White Sox second base Brooke McManus errored Fujino Haruka’s hit. With bases loaded, Furuta Maki hammered a double to drive in three runs for a 4-0 lead.
It was always going to be uphill for the White Sox thereafter against the 2010 world championship silver medallists.
The Kiwi batters made little headway against Japan’s three pitchers and their watertight defence. Only one New Zealand batter struck out at the plate, but vice-captain Rebecca Bromhead was the only batter to pick up hits with two from two attempts for a perfect 1.000 average.
Farrell settled to shut out Japan in the second and third innings but the crack Asian outfit added three runs in the fourth frame after four safe hits, including a triple by Suzuki Mika. Krysta Hoani relieved Farrell for the fifth inning and yielded just one hit, a streaky infield single.
New Zealand made three errors to Japan’s none.
Hutt Valley’s Lara Andrews led the batting rampage with three of New Zealand’s 13 safe hits in the opening game of the tournament at Whitehorse, Yukon.
Lead-off batter Krysta Hoani, who batted in two runs, pitcher-outfielder Taylor Paige-Stewart and Australia-based infielder Brook McManus had two safe hits each.
Shortstop Ellie Cooper hammered a triple and designated hitter Courtney Maihi slammed a two-base hit. The White Sox left 11 runners on base but produced a flawless performance in the field
Veteran catcher Kiri Shaw was named White Sox captain, following in the cleatmarks of mother Naomi, who captained New Zealand to the world title in 1982. But the younger Shaw was unable to play at the weekend due to a hamstring injury.
New Zealand play Great Britain at 8.30am tomorrow.
Section A: United States 7 Venezuela 0, China 3 Netherlands 2, Puerto Rico 4 Czech Republic 2, Argentina 8 South Africa 3, United States 10 Czech Republic 0, China 1 Puerto Rico 0, Venezuela 7 South Africa 0, Netherlands 9 Argentina 0.
Standings: United States, China 2-2 4pts, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Netherlands, Argentina 1-1 2pts, Czech Republic, South Africa 0-2 0 pts.
Section B: New Zealand 7 Mexico 3, Canada 6 Chinese-Taipei 0, Japan 3 Australia 1, Italy 4 Great Britain 0, Japan 7 New Zealand 0, Canada 8 Mexico 0, Great Britain 1 Chinese-Taipei 0, Australia 11 Italy 1.
Standings: Japan, Canada 2-2 4pts, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Great Britain 1-1 2, Chinese-Taipei, Mexico 0-2 0 pts.
- © Fairfax NZ News