Hard passage for Black Sox at world champs

Last updated 05:00 24/01/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Two AFL players earning a million plus per season Courier delay sees Hayden Roulston fined for wearing the wrong gear Auckland, Nelson most winning regions in New Zealand sport New naming rights sponsor imminent for Coast to Coast Hayden Wilde off to strong start in Coast to Coast Former multisport star Lynch warns of post-career dangers Shaun Johnson ready to Marshall the Warriors against Benji's Dragons in Nelson Julia Ratcliffe in best form since Commonwealth Games ahead of Porritt Classic New Zealand sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke blemish-free as world 49er championships ramp up in Florida Kenya in race to meet Wada timelines to tackle cheating

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