Black Sox to play Venezuela for place in final
The New Zealand Black Sox will play Venezuela today for a place in the world softball championship final after the South Americans upset Canada.
Venezuela - who dedicated their victory to their late president Hugo Chavez - beat Canada 3-1 in Auckland late last night.
Catcher Rafael Flores hammered a two-run homer with Edwin Linares on base in the fourth inning.
Venezuela manager Ramon Lopez said the victory was the greatest in the national men's team's history because it put Venezuela within striking distance of their first world championship medal.
The winner of the Black Sox-Venezuela game at 5pm will advance directly to Sunday afternoon's final. The loser will play off for bronze.
New Zealand beat world champions Australia 5-4 in the 10th inning after three tiebreaker phases.
Australia play Japan in a sudden-death game today and Canada will clash with Argentina. Japan yesterday knocked out Samoa 4-2 and Argentina eliminated the United States, 9-2.
Today's playoffs draw is: 11.30am: Game 1: Japan v Australia. 2pm: Game 2: Argentina v Canada. 5pm: Game 3: New Zealand Black Sox v Venezuela. 7.30pm: Winner Game 1 v Winner Game 2.
* Games televised on Sky Sport 3.