Black Sox on right track to regain title

LINDA WOOD
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012

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Coach Eddie Kohlhase believes the Black Sox are on the right path as they try to regain their world softball title at next year's championships in Auckland.

"We have been working hard for the past couple of years to get to where we want to be," he said.

Several contenders for the world championships team were in the capital at the weekend as part of the local association's 75th jubilee celebrations and played an invitation Wellington team on Saturday at Hataitai Park.

The Black Sox team won both games with ease. More importantly for Kohlhase, it was an opportunity for the national players to get some game time together.

Among those who would be pleased with their performances on Saturday were Aaron Neemia, Wayne Laulu, Dan Taipari, Tyson Barterillo, Campbell Makea and Tyson Byrne, who all picked up multiple hits in the two games. Defensively, the players also showed their class, with the Wellington selection finding their chances limited.

"It's all about getting some time on the diamond together and against some good opposition," Kohlhase said.

"There was some excellent base running. We showed our running game. For us, it is about our running game and we showed that."

"You also need to remember there are some players to come back," he said.

Those players include squad members Thomas Makea, Jarrad Martin and Patrick Shannon.

All three are veterans of world championships and considered among the world's best players in their positions.

The world championships team will be named after the National Fastpitch Championship tournament at North Shore's Rosedale Park from December 6-9. Team members will have several camps.

They will also play in two major club tournaments - the Brother Patrick and Dean Schick tournaments in Auckland - ahead of the world championships at Rosedale Park from March 1-10.

"There are places up for grabs, obviously, but we do have a core of players," Kohlhase said.

New Zealand lost their world title crown to Australia in 2009.

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- The Dominion Post

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