Iosefo misses internal tour after car accident
Top Canterbury softball pitcher Penese Iosefo has pulled out of the Black Sox internal tour after a car accident and is in serious doubt for next month's national provincial tournament.
Canterbury Red Sox management will make a final call on Iosefo's availability after the Albion ace has an x-ray next week to confirm suspected broken ribs.
Red Sox manager Jayden Moore said yesterday Iosefo was involved in a car accident while visiting Dunedin last week.
He spent a few days in Dunedin Hospital with cuts to his face, which required stitches, whiplash and concussion.
The right-handed pitcher - a contender for the Black Sox squad at the March world championships in Auckland - was home in Christchurch now but was "still very sore", Moore said.
"They think he may have some broken ribs but they won't know till next week when they give him an x-ray."
Moore, who is also the Black Sox assistant manager, said Iosefo was out of the national team's internal tour, which started in Nelson last night. "And he's in doubt for the NFC [National Fastpitch Championship provincial series in Auckland from December 6-9].
"It's a real shame.
"We need him for Canterbury but also from a Black Sox perspective because he's still pushing for a [world championship] spot."
The Red Sox management, comprising head coach Greg Newton, assistant Mike Mountford, pitching coach Murray Britt and Moore, will leave the call on Iosefo "to the last minute".
Losing their top pitcher would be a major blow to the Red Sox's hopes of regaining their national title now former Black Sox pitcher Nathan Taikato has moved to Australia.
Papanui Tiger Scott Sutherland would have to step up to the No 1 role in Iosefo's absence, with support from Aiden Cocker.
Moore said the Red Sox had a few options if Iosefo had to be replaced, including Halswell hurler Brendan Batten, PCU Devils' Canadian import Kyle Crawford or going to the draft "for someone from outside Canterbury".
Iosefo's unavailability left the Black Sox with just one recognised pitcher, former Marlburian Nik Hayes, for the Nelson leg of the three-destination national tour.
Iosefo's Canterbury team-mates, Tyron Bartorillo and Daniel Milne, were on deck for last night's game against an Upper South Island squad and the rematch in Nelson tonight.
Is the Canterbury team 'mentally soft'?Related story: North Harbour stun hapless Canterbury team