All-round performances by pitchers to steer their teams to Waikato pre-Christmas titles were the feature of Saturday's finals day at Resthills Park.
Melville won the premier women's title 10-0 over Southnet thanks to a dominant display from Hamilton Girls' High student Pania Monk, who collected three of her team's 10 hits and pitched a shutout on the mound.
Southnet were unable to score a single run or hit with Monk facing 15 batters over five innings for eight strikeouts and two walks.
Melissa Monk and Tyler Downs each added two hits for Melville, who scored two runs in the top of the first inning, four in the second, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to end the final early.
Southnet claimed the premier men's title, beating Fairfield OU 7-1 in the semifinals and Marlinz 3-2 in the final.
Southnet pitcher Vinny Harris faced 25 batters over seven innings in the final and took nine strikeouts while giving up only two walks and two hits.
Harris was also Southnet's top batter with three hits, including the two-bagger in the bottom of the sixth innings that brought home Raniera Taniwha for the winning run, breaking a 2-2 deadlock.
Harris opened the scoring when he crossed home plate on a DJ Bishop hit in the bottom of the first inning, but Marlinz blasted past them with their only two hits of the game to Te Ate Walker and Brendon Rogers in the top of the third to score two runs. A Walker triple brought home Richard Gibbison and Walker scored on a passed ball.
Walker and Hone-Mark Sinnott shared the pitching for Marlinz, Walker taking six strikeouts and giving up two walks and three hits from the 15 batters he faced over three innings. Sinnott took three strikeouts and gave up one hit off the 13 batters he faced over the last four innings.
Waipa Sports had a successful day in winning both the major men's and women's titles.
Waikato Softball takes a break with the North Island under-15 girls' tournament to be held at Resthills Park from January 2-6.
- Waikato Times
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