Chance to measure Iosefo's fitness

TONY SMITH
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012

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The Jefferies Cup South Island tournament will serve as a fitness test for Canterbury Red Sox strike pitcher Penese Iosefo.

The Black Sox hurler has made a quicker-than-expected recovery from broken ribs suffered in a Dunedin car crash and could still suit up for next week's National Fastpitch Championships (NFC) in Auckland.

Canterbury manager Jayden Moore said Iosefo would be included in the Jefferies Cup squad for this weekend's tournament at Mainland Foundation Ballpark.

"We have seen a significant improvement with his health, he has had no headaches for the past 10 days, he is moving freely and has no difficulty breathing, so effectively the Jefferies Cup will be a fitness test for him," he said.

"Should he succumb to the injury, we have included Brendon Batten in our squad as cover."

Batten, Callum Muir and Nathan Watt have been added to Red Sox squad "to allow us to manage the players' workload leading into next week's NFC", Moore said.

Canterbury are chasing their 18th consecutive Jefferies Cup tournament victory. Marlborough, Nelson, Southland, Otago and the Canterbury under-19s have also entered.

The Canterbury Red Hawks' women's team will be without pitcher-outfielder Lauren Sutherland, who has a hand injury.

Coach Carl Tuinenga is resting Sutherland for this weekend's Jubilee Cup South Island tournament to boost her chances of playing in the NFC.

Shortstop Cassie Siataga, who pitches for her Richmond Keas club team, will back up Elisha Smith and Amy Begg on the Red Hawks' mound.

Siataga, Mikayla Werahiko and Robyn Hall, who all played for the White Sox in Adelaide, will turn out for the Red Hawks.

Former Canterbury pitcher Jenni Mumm will spearhead the attack for Nelson and the Canterbury under-19s complete the Jubilee Cup field.

Play starts at 9am today. The finals will be held at 3pm tomorrow.

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- The Press

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