Blue Sox storm back to win fifth men's Manawat club softball title in a row

SOFTBALL: Blue Sox have bounced back from a loss a week ago to claim their fifth Manawat mens club title in a row.
Blue Sox were beaten 6-0 by Huia Chiefs last weekend, but stormed back to win when it counted, beating Huia Chiefs 7-0 in the final at Colquhoun Park, Palmerston North, on Saturday. Blue Sox had also won through the semifinal earlier in the day.

Athletic claimed the womens title by beating Feilding United 12-5.

The mens final was a complete opposite of last weekend, with Blue Sox on top and the run-ahead rule applied at the bottom of the sixth inning.


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Harry Evans got the scoring under way for Blue Sox at the top of the third inning, tonking the ball over the fence, his first over-the-fence home run.

No more runs were scored until the sixth inning, when Blue Sox took it to Huia Chiefs with the bat, hitting two two-baggers and four singles before the run-ahead rule was applied.

The top batter for Blue Sox was Sam Selby-Law, who batted 0.750, scored one run and picked up two runs batted in.

Pitcher Regan Manley faced 21 batters, took 15 strikeouts and gave up three hits.

Huias top batter was Cameron Scott, who batted 0.666, stole four bases and had a blinder of a game.

Pitcher Kelly Dyason faced 29 batters, took 11 strikeouts and gave up one walk, seven runs, five earned and nine hits, one being the home run and one hit pitch.

Blue Sox won the semifinal 13-0 over Palmerston North Dodgers to see who would play Huia Chiefs in the final.

Blue Sox drew first blood in the second inning, with Bryan Taiaroa hitting an automatic home run over the centre-field fence.

Jason Taiaroa was up next and just about mirrored his brother, but only managed a three-bag hit.

Evans scored in the third inning on a wild pitch.

In the fourth and fifth inning they did it with the bat, hitting two-bag and three-bag hits all over the diamond and Selby-Law hit another home run over the centre field, picking up three runs batted in.

They scored six runs in the fourth inning and five more in the fifth. Dodgers had no answer for the Blue Sox onslaught.

The top Blue Sox batters were Selby-Law and Jason Taiaroa, who batted 0.666, both scoring two runs.

Pitcher Bryan Taiaroa faced 18 batters. He took 10 strikeouts and gave up one walk, one hit and one wild pitch.

Dodgers top batter was Caleb Watt, who batted 0.500.

He shared the pitching with Teao Mulligan and they faced 33 batters, took seven strikeouts and gave up two walks, 13 runs, of which eight where earned, and 14 hits, five two-baggers, one three-bagger and two home runs.

Palmerston North Dodgers finished third.

In the womens final, Athletic powered their way to a 12-5 win over Feilding United.

Feilding got off to a great start, scoring five runs in the first inning, but that was all they could manage.

Athletic poured it on, scoring four runs in the first inning, four in the second, two in the fifth and two in the sixth before the run-ahead rule was invoked.

Cathryn Kilmister, Hineko Taitapanui and Waiquila Kotuhi all hit in-the-park home runs for Athletic.

Kilmister also scored a second run and picked up two runs batted in and batted 1.000 before she had to be taken from the field for a concussion test after being hit by a ball.

Kotuhi also batted 1.000 and picked up three runs batted in.

Shanice Campbell scored three of the 12 runs, picking up one run batted in.

Pitcher Manea Kotuhi-Brown faced 32 batters. She took six strikeouts and gave up five runs, two earned, 10 hits and two walks.

Feilding couldnt turn their hits into runs after the first inning, leaving nine runners on base.

Feilding's top batters were Lynette Lambert and Emma Hatzen, who batted 0.666.

Lambert scored a run and picked up a run batted in. Clay Pauli hit a home run and picked up three runs batted in.

Pitcher Ashlee Hatzen faced 35 batters. She took two strikeouts and gave up 12 runs, five earned and nine hits, three of those were home runs and seven walks.

Bramac Aces finished third.

In the mens senior reserve final, Kingswood Demons beat Palmerston North Dodgers 6-5.

Athletic beat Levin United 18-7 in the playoff for third.

In the senior reserve plate final, Huia Warriors won 19-15 over Raiders.

Bramac Bombers won the third-and-fourth-place playoff 27-9.

Manawat Softball Association awards:

Women: Pre-Christmas winners: Feilding United. Post-Christmas winners: Athletic. Runners-up: Feilding United. Top batter: Paula Darlington (Athletic) 0.632. Top pitcher: Manea Kotuhi-Brown (Athletic) 1.75. Most runs batted in: Sharnelle Miller (Feilding United) 14. Most home runs: Cassie George (Feilding United), Marino Te Rata-Owen, both 3. Womens pemain of the year: Sharnelle Miller (Feilding United).

Men: Pre-Christmas winners: Huia Chiefs. Post-Christmas winners: Blue Sox. Runners-up: Huia Chiefs. Top batter: Liam Bassick (Blue Sox) 0.545. Top pitcher: Bryan Taiaroa (Blue Sox) 0.88. Most runs batted in: AJ Dyason (Huia Chiefs) 15. Most home runs: AJ Dyason, Lachlan Hook, Wayne Norman, (Huia Chiefs) Caleb Watt, Xavier Christian (Dodgers), Taine Nixon (Blue Sox). Mens pemain of the year: AJ Dyason (Huia Chiefs).

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