Hard passage for Black Sox at world champs

Last updated 05:00 24/01/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Olympic hurdles champion makes emotional plea about banned medication Hughie Fury signs on dotted line for WBO heavyweight title fight against Joseph Parker Eliza McCartney, Tom Walsh to provide chills 'n thrills at Auckland Track Challenge Top New Zealand squash player Paul Coll loses epic five-game clash to world No 1 Former AFL star Ben Cousins in trouble again Oracle grinder Graeme Spence lucky to escape injury after high-speed fall off foiling America's Cup catamaran Duco Events happy as WBO put deadline heat on Hughie Fury for title fight with Joseph Parker Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - February 24 November trial for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong in $138m suit Tonga flag-bearer's quest to make Winter Olympics doesn't start well

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