Hard passage for Black Sox at world champs

Last updated 05:00 24/01/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Another small crowd in Wellington leaves questions around AFL in New Zealand Carlton overcome slow start to beat St Kilda in Anzac Day clash at Westpac Stadium Highlanders move and groove to Six60 Olympic sailing events may shift owing to 'open sewer' AFL in search of a New Zealand TV broadcasting partner Tim Price leads after dressage at Rolex Kentucky three-day event Lennox Lewis: Bryant Jennings 'just needs to hit' Wladimir Klitschko Peter Burling, Blair Tuke hold 49er lead at ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyeres Tampa Bay Lightning clip some Redwings to level NHL series Women's team pursuit gold at Rio Olympics tall order

Coach Eddie Kohlhase says the Black Sox have "a very demanding draw" as they bid to regain their world softball championship title in Auckland in March.

Their pool includes four-times champions Canada, Japan, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, the Netherlands and the Philippines.

"It's a very, very demanding draw," says Kohlhase. "Canada, Japan and Argentina are three of the big powers in world softball.

"It's a tough draw, not just in terms of qualifying for the quarterfinals, but also building up some powerful momentum going forward. It will be a real test for us."

Kohlhase said traditional rivals Canada, who the five-times world champion Black Sox beat in the 1996 and 2004 tournament finals, had powerful pitching. "They throw the ball very hard - and like most Canadian sports teams, they try to dominate you physically."

Japan, who the Kiwis beat to win the 2000 world title in South Africa, had a fast team, were "beautiful fielders of the ball and quite electric on the base paths".

"They have a lot of lefties [left-handed batters] and have very strong pitching and hitting - they'll be a real test."

Argentina are one of the emerging powers in world softball and won the junior world title at home last year, where New Zealand finished sixth.

Australia, who beat the Black Sox to win the 2009 world championships, head the other pool with the United States.

The Black Sox's pool play draw is (all games at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated): Friday, March 1: v Mexico. Saturday, March 2: v Colombia (2.30pm). Sunday, March 3: v Japan (2.30pm). Monday, March 4: v Canada. Tuesday, March 5: v Argentina. Wednesday, March 6: v Netherlands. Thursday, March 7: v Philippines. Friday, March 8 - Saturday, March 9: Playoffs. Sunday, March 10: Medal Games.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content