Cook has day to cherish
Nobody's perfect in sport, they say, but Canterbury Red Sox captain Gareth Cook was on Saturday with four home runs in a club softball double-header.
The 34-year-old PCU Devils stalwart had nine hits from nine at-bats, put the ball into orbit four times and batted in 12 runs for a perfect 1.000 average.
He slugged three home runs and a single in a 9-6 win over Halswell and clubbed another automatic homer, a triple and three singles in a 13-5 thrashing of Canterbury premiership arch-rivals Albion.
PCU outfielder Nigel Stevens also hit a home run against Halswell, while Jason Hampton and Matt Saunders produced back-to-back three- baggers for Halswell.
Cook collected half of PCU's 10-hit tally in the Albion game, with Paul DeLatour and Cody Crawford supplying two-baggers.
Canterbury pitcher Scott Sutherland restricted Albion to four safe hits in the Papanui Tigers' 6-2 win.
Papanui led 3-1 going into the final inning but embellished their advantage with runs to Luke Sutherland, Paul Barker and Nathan Watt in the top of the seventh.
Barker, Canterbury's most impressive rookie at the National Fastpitch Championship (NFC), Callum Muir and Luke Sutherland each had two hits from three.
Richmond Keas ended the pre-Christmas phase with two wins in the Canterbury women's premiership.
Canterbury Red Hawks shortstop Cassie Siataga was in top touch in both matches, hitting two doubles in a 6-1 win over Sydenham Kereru and another in the 9-0 victory over Papanui.
Pitcher Ashley Lightfoot was in commanding form, holding Sydenham Kereru to three hits and conceding just two and a single walk against Papanui in the early innings.
Siataga made some slick infield plays as Richmond Keas sealed their win over Papanui with a six-run scoring burst late in the game.
T J Gutsell slammed a triple for Richmond Keas and Charryl Moody, who ended the NFC in good batting form, hit a three-bagger against Sydenham Kereru.
Emma Frost - the Canterbury Red Hawks' best batter at the NFC - continued in the same vein in Halswell's 8-3 win over Papanui.
The 23-year-old infielder had four hits from four at-bats for a perfect 1.000 average. Bev Lethlean and Amy Begg clouted home runs for Halswell and Jody Duncraft collected a triple before Papanui relief pitcher Lauren Sutherland stepped in to strike out seven batters in the last three innings.
Danielle Bolton and pitcher Elisha Smith slugged triples and Cassandra Andrews had two hits from three at-bats in Sydenham Kereru's 9-2 win over Albion after a two-run homer by Albion's Lani Stead.