10 March 2007 Auckland fastpitch

March 11, 2007

Auckland, NZ

10 March 2007 Auckland fastpitch softball results.

Play-offs: Men: Championship section: Quarter finals. Waitakere Bears
4 Howick 1, Northcote 3 United 1. Northcote to play Ramblers and
Bears to play Metro in semi finals on Saturday.
Plate section semifinals: Marist 11 Glenora 0, Te Atatu Roosters 8 Otahuhu 6.

Women: Bears 2 v Otahuhu 1, Marist 12 Howick 0.
Bears will play Marist for the place in the final against minor
premier Northcote.

Northcote's international all-rounder Brad Rona powered his side
into a semi final against champion Ramblers in next Saturday's final
day at Norana Park. He pitched a four-hitter against Auckland United
and hit a first inning home run, with Dean Wallace on base after a
walk, followed by a home run from Michael Boaler. Northcote won 3-1.
Northcote's two first inning hits were the side's meagre total
against United's pitcher Heinie Shannon but United, with only four
hits, could manage to group them only once, in the fourth, when Kurt
Allan hit on base and Shannon, one of the stars of the season, hit a
double for the solitary run. Shannon deserved more from his team.
United, fourth in the rankings after the round robin, was
marginally ahead of fifth placed Northcote. Third ranked was Royal
Canin Waitakere Bears and sixth was Howick. Ramblers and Metro, as
first and second in the round robin, had automatic semi final qualification.
Bears' men took time to master Howick before winning 4-1 at
Starling Park in the other play-off match. Bears will play Metro,
with Northcote facing minor premier and reigning champion Ramblers,
in the semi finals.

These games are on Saturday at 9.30am, with the final at 3pm,
following the plate final at 12.15.

Te Atatu Roosters beat Otahuhu men 8-6 with three runs in the
seventh inning of the plate semi final. Otahuhu replied with one in
the last turn, but could not catch up in a free-scoring thriller
while Marist had a predictable 11-0 win over the struggling Glenora.
The influence and experience of Jake Tahu, the consistent
catching and hitting ability of catcher Tommy Katene and some hard
work from pitcher Taiki Apu have pushed Otahuhu up the ladder but the
club really needs to work out its motivation. Aiming for the top or
filling in the competition is the classic dilemma for many teams.
Bears' women, one of the dominant sides of the year, had problems
against cellar side Otahuhu in the quarterfinal before winning 2-1 in
the bottom of the seventh. Bears batting standard must go back to
mid-season form against Marist in Saturday's semi final if the club
is to take its first-ever Auckland women's title. Marist, after a
late season slump, will test Bears in every department.

Marist and Bears will play the semi final at 9.30am and the final
at 12.30. With Jackie Smith and Fiona Timu likely to be in top form,
Northcote will have the edge. However, like Ramblers, Northcote has
had a slow time lately with few games and this may have taken the
edge off both teams.

Ramblers has not shown much sparkle but the Auckland national
league win must have livened up most of the team members.
Saturday's finals will be the last chance for all the teams to
prepare for the nationals the following week, with the women in
Hastings and the men in Christchurch

Vance Foster



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