Illness forces match to be halted before end
The outcome of last Saturday's crunch Canterbury men's softball championship match has yet to be confirmed after play was abandoned in the seventh inning.
Competition leaders PCU Devils were leading arch rivals Albion 4-3 when a PCU team official had a medical emergency in the team dugout at Mainland Foundation Ballpark and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Play was suspended with the Albion Pirates at bat in the top of the seventh inning.
Canterbury Softball Association (CSA) operations manager Moira Annandale said PCU and Albion had to decide whether to accept the 4-3 result or continue the game from the top of the seventh inning.
"If the clubs can't reach a consensus, then it will be declared an abandoned game."
PCU would then be awarded four points and Albion would receive a bonus point for a loss within three-run margin.
PCU beat the Halswell Hornets 6-2 earlier with Nigel Stevens clouting two doubles and Gareth Cook swatting two hits.
Albion struck back with nine late innings runs to topple the Papanui Tigers 11-4. Matt Baxter blasted a triple and Antony Stuart, who batted .750, stroked a two-bagger for Albion. Canterbury Red Sox rookie Paul Barker hit a first-inning home run for Papanui and Carl McIlroy mustered a triple.
Richmond Keas (RKS) still lead the Canterbury women's championship despite suffering a fifth defeat to fast improving Halswell.
Halswell won 6-4 despite being outbatted nine hits to eight after Cassie Siataga, Manawa Ruki, Shontelle Peters and T J Gutsell all had two hits for RKS.
Canterbury Red Hawks captain Nicole Baxter (two hits) and her cousin Ashleigh Thornley, who cracked a three-bagger, led Halswell's hit parade.
Teenage Canterbury pitcher Amy Begg grabbed eight strikeouts in Halswell's 6-2 win over Albion Cardinals, conceding only one hit, a double by Savannah Ward.
Baxter drove in two runs for Halswell and catcher Hannah Thomson had two hits. Albion pitcher Sara Carter started promisingly, striking out the first four batters.
Sydenham Kereru (SK) moved to within two points of RKS after their 11-4 win over Papanui. Canadian pitcher Shannon Galea starred for SK with eight strikeouts on the mound and two hits from three at-bats.
The Ontario native, who has played in the Dutch national league, is pitching more than 90kmh - about the same speed as Halswell's Begg.
Danielle Bolton continued her good batting form for SK with a 1.000 average after two hits, a sacrifice and a walk.
T J Daly hit a triple for Papanui against SK and went one better in the 12-3 win over Albion.