Hutt Valley batter Pallas Potter to captain Junior White Sox softball team
Hutt Valley's Pallas Potter will captain the New Zealand Junior White Sox at the under-19 women's world softball championships in Florida in July.
Head coach Venita Hokai said the selectors had chosen "an exciting young team" with 11 of the 17 players also eligible for the 2019 tournament.
She said Potter, who played at the 2015 world championships in Oklahoma City, was a deserved choice as captain.
"She has been outstanding at this year's age group nationals, blasting at least five home runs out of the park.
"Pallas is a quiet achiever and really has matured as a player since her last outing in Oklahoma. We have no doubt she has the leadership skills every team is looking for in a captain," Hokai said.
The selectors also expect California-based Kelley Renner "to take charge of the outfield", said Hokai, who said pitching had been the main area of concern.
Renner, who was added to the New Zealand White Sox senior squad this year, has just signed a four-year softball scholarship with the University of California San Diego campus and stole 62 bases during the 2016 season.
The squad includes six Hutt Valley players, five from Auckland, two from Wellington and the United States, North Harbour's Stephanie Fallon and Canterbury pitcher Brittany Terrey.
Hutt's Denva Shaw-Tait, whose grandmother Naomi Shaw captained the New Zealand White Sox to the world title in 1982, and whose mother, Kiri Shaw, played at several world championships.
Wellington sisters Mereana and Marama Makea are the daughters of former Black Sox outfielder Fabian Makea.
The Junior White Sox will head to Orlando where they will train and acclimatise before heading to Clearwater for the world championships from July 24-30.
AT A GLANCE
The New Zealand Junior White Sox under-19 women's softball world championships squad
Taylor Chongnee, Brooke Glassie, Maddison Roy, Aaria Tawha, Deja Tapili-Wetere (Auckland), Stephanie Fallon (North Harbour) Mikayla Lewin, Wanaka Noanoa, Pallas Potter (c), Bailey Robertson, Otila Tavite, Denva Shaw-Tait (Hutt Valley), Mereana Makea, Marama Makea (Wellington), Makana Morton (Texas, USA), Kelley Renner (California, USA), Brittany Terrey (Canterbury).
Kim-An Quinn (Massachusetts, USA), Erika Cooper (Missouri, USA), Aroha Hibbert, Paiton Koko Lutau (Wellington), Hayley Carter (Auckland)
Venita Hokai (Head Coach), Cherie Waters (Manager), Kiri Shaw (Assistant Coach) and Dave Elder (Pitching Coach), Raewyn Ferguson (Scorer), Jerome Haretuku (Strength & Conditioning, Trainer/Outfield Coach).