Marlinz, Melville make winning pitch for titles
Marlinz men and Melville women snapped up the Waikato pre-Christmas club titles at the weekend.
However, Marlinz produced the more spectacular performance.
Playing the final against Southnet at Resthills Park on Saturday, after Southnet had eliminated Fairfield OU 7-3 in the semifinal, Marlinz produced two big blasts at either end of the game to seize the title in style.
The first of those blasts came in the bottom of the first inning, when Carlos Kohu-Martin stepped up to the plate with two runners on base after David Upoko had got on with a hit and Jayde Martin on a walk.
Kohu-Martin smashed an automatic home run over centre-field fence to score all three.
The Marlinz lead stayed 3-0 with no further scoring until the bottom of the sixth, when again they managed to get two runners on base, Kohu-Martin on a walk and Hone Mark Sinnott on a hit.
Richard Gibbison was next into the batter's box.
Gibbison repeated Kohu-Martin's first-inning effort by powering an automatic homer over the left-field fence to make the final score 6-0.
While Marlinz managed a total of five hits, Southnet's only hit came from Khalid Gilbert, who collected a double to left field in the top of the seventh inning.
Pitching for Marlinz, Sinnott faced 22 batters, gave up one hit and one walk, and took 12 strikeouts over the seven innings.
Vinny Harris pitched for Southnet and faced 27 batters over six innings, taking three strikeouts and giving up five hits and a costly six walks.
In the women's final, Melville beat Southnet 13-7.
Southnet had won a semifinal on the same day, beating Marlinz 16-6.
Melville collected 11 hits to Southnet's five, with Angie Johnston and Melissa Monk each getting three for the winners.
Schoolgirl Pania Monk pitched for Melville, facing 35 batters in seven innings and giving up five hits and seven walks, while taking four strikeouts.
The best of the Southnet batters was Courtney Elliott, with three hits.
Six of the losing team's seven runs came in the bottom of the first inning for an early 6-3 lead when they got runners on with two hits, two walks and three fielding errors from Melville.
Southnet used two pitchers, with Elliott facing 21 batters over three innings for five hits, five walks and two strikeouts. India Fletcher faced 19 batters in four innings for five hits, three walks and two strikeouts.