Mark Sorenson wins New Zealand softball's top award

Black Sox coach Mark Sorenson has won the New Zealand Softballer of the Year award.

Black Sox coach Mark Sorenson has won the New Zealand Softballer of the Year award.

World championship winning Black Sox coach Mark Sorenson has won the New Zealand Softballer of the Year award.

Sorenson - a member of the Softball New Zealand, World Baseball-Softball Council and New Zealand Sports halls of fame - was presented with his trophy at Softball New Zealand's annual meeting in Lower Hutt last weekend.

The Hutt Valley native is no stranger to success - he won four world championships gold medals as a player and was a three-time New Zealand player of the year.

He told Stuff that he had accepted the award "of the whole Black Sox management group".

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"I am only one of eight on the management team. We're blessed to have the quality of people in the group that we had. You could trust them all to do their jobs and responsibilities."

Sorenson will wait for a review of the world championships campaign to be completed before he decides whether to seek to continue as Black Sox head coach.

The Softball New Zealand awards covered the 2016-17 domestic season and did not take in the Black Sox's world championships victory in Canada in July.

Canterbury shortstop Tyron Bartorillo won the New Zealand male player of the year award after re-establishing himself as a key member of the Black Sox after missing the 2015 world championships.

White Sox captain Ellie Cooper - who completed her college scholarship at Florida State University -  was the New Zealand female player of the year.

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Wellington's Josh Pettett won the male pitcher of the year prize after hurling the Black Sox to the Challenge Cup title in Auckland last February.

Courtney Gettins (Hawke's Bay) was voted top female pitcher after establishing herself with the White Sox and winning junior college pitching awards at Florida South Eastern College before securing a two-year scholarship with the University of Alabama, one of America's leading division one college teams. 

Junior White Sox captain Pallas Potter (Hutt Valley) and Canterbury's Reilly Makea, a Junior Black Sox international and a Papanui clubmate of Bartorillo, won the emerging player awards.

Manawatu-based Steve Deans, who coached Hutt Valley Dodgers to the men's national interclub final and the Hutt Valley representative team, was named domestic coach of the year. Deans was selected to coach the New Zealand Major Sox national under-23 men's team.

Counties-Manukau official Jonathan Hewett was named administrator of the year with Southland's Chris Telfer - who coached seven teams in 2016-17 - confirmed as volunteer of the year.


Softball New Zealand's 2016-17 awards

Softballer of the Year: Mark Sorenson (Hutt Valley)

Players of the year: Male: Tyron Bartorillo (Canterbury).  Women: Ellie Cooper (Florida State University).

Emerging players: Reilly Makea (Canterbury). Women: Pallas Potter (Hutt Valley).

Pitchers: Male: Josh Pettett (Wellington). Female: Courtney Gettins (Hawke's Bay).

Domestic coach: Steve Deans (Hutt Valley).

Administrator: Jonathan Hewett (Counties Manukau).

Volunteer: Chris Telfer (Southland).

Umpire: Tony Kaiaruna (Wellington).

Scorer: Elizabeth Natana (Counties Manukau).

Personality: Jason Gerbes (North Harbour).

Distinguished Service awards: Vicky Griffiths (Canterbury), Coralie Davies (Manawatu), Elva Dyason (Manawatu).


 - Stuff

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