Auckland & Wellington/Hutt Valley weekend results

March 18, 2007

Auckland & Wellington, NZ

17 March 2007 Auckland fastpitch softball results.

Finals’ day at Norana Ballpark, Mangere.
Men: Plate final: Marist 7 Te Atatu Roosters 6. Championship semi finals:Mt Albert Ramblers 7 Northcote 2, Metro 11 Royal Canin Waitakere Bears 8(tiebreaker). Final: Ramblers 13 Metro 0.

Women: Semi final: Marist 4 Waitakere 2. Final: Northcote 1 Marist0.
Report from Trevor Rowse.
   Mt Albert Ramblers unleashed a typical batting onslaught tobrush aside close rival Metro 13-0 in just five innings in Saturday’sAuckland fastpitch final at Norana Ballpark in Mangere, ending the gameearly under the mercy rule.
   Led by player-coach Donny Hale, Ramblers amassed 24 hits inthe semi final and final, downing Northcote 7-2 in the early game.
   Hale, one of the top five batters in the fastpitch world,had six safe hits from seven turns at bat, with a home run, three doublesand a two singles, with protégé Bobbie King snatching a home run and fivesingles from six turns.
   Hale used Australian international pitcher AndrewKirkpatrick in the final and the tall left-hander allowed only one hit,to Metro’s Des Pemerika, who also took an acrobatic outfield catch toprevent the score ballooning further out of control.
   But Ramblers did not score in the first two bats, despitehits from King and Michael Gibbs. Then the runs flowed with four in thethird turn, including a home run from 20 year veteran Lyndon Andrew, thetop batter of the series.
   The side batted right through the order in the fifth,starting with Kirkpatrick being hit by a pitch. Six successive singlesgave Metro no chance to recover and the inning ended with a big home runby Kirkpatrick as eight runs scored.
   It was another day of frustration for pitcher Thomas Cameronwho is eager to get some game time. The iron man, who can hit as well aspitch, likes to have plenty of work and the big Ramblers’ squad, withfour pitchers and eight players sitting on the bench, has not given himany significant match time since his recovery from an arm injury.
   Metro had battled to beat Waitakere Bears 11-8 in atiebreaker to qualify for the final, despite scoring seven runs in thefirst inning on seven walks and a Roman Gabriel home run. Bears’ planswere disconcerted when starting pitcher Kyle Kouka hurt himself in thewarm-up, thrusting an unprepared Derrek Coleman into action. The resultshould have ended in a Metro romp but Bears is made of tougher stuffthese days. The dream of another Auckland title, the first in fiftyyears, drove them on and Patrick Shannon slammed a grand slam home runwith Derrek Coleman hitting a three run homer and Bears caught up at 8-8.
   After the first inning debacle, Metro did not manage anotherrun until another Gabriel home run in the sixth. Then the game went intoa tiebreaker and lead-off batter Rod Caddy sealed the win with a powerfulhome run in the tiebreaker. Duane Jerard hit a double and was hit home byBernard Hale to give a three run buffer. The two and a half hour struggleseemed to take the edge off Metro.
   Ramblers had coasted to the ten-hit win over Northcote,aided by home runs to Kirkpatrick, Hale, King and Thomas Cameron.Northcote managed only four hits from Japanese pitcher Kengo Terui. Onceagain the runs did not start until the third, unlike the Ramblers’ stylethroughout the ten-team, two-round series. King rammed a shot over leftfield to inspire the side into action.
   Marist took advantage of early runs to beat Waitakere Bears4-2 in the women’s play-off  after another disconcerting episodewhen ace pitcher Megan Farrell had to return home to collect her matchgear. This plunged Shannon Lockton into action unexpectedly and Maristtook the two run lead with lead off Casey Roper hitting a single. Shewent out but Sina Hunkin doubled, Lydia Isaacs walked and Courtney Maihidoubled to get the runs.
   Ros Meredith scored after an error in the fifth and Maihiwas walked and gifted a run around the bases.
   Vivian Marr had a similar gift run for Bears in the sixthand it was Lockton with a triple, followed by singles by Mereana Josephand Rebecca Bromhead which took Bears back into contention in theseventh.
   But Bromhead was called out at third after a spectacularcatch from third base Courtney O’Donnell left that base open. Bromheadtagged up and sprinted to the empty base. No one official was watchingbut, after a long conference, the umpires decided to call her out. It wasa rough call and ended the game on a sour note as Bears looked likely torevive.
   Marist failed to use a batting advantage against Northcotein the final. Marist, facing international pitcher Michal Tangaroa, tookfive hits to Northcote’s two against Carina Hale but could not score in a1-0 loss. Hale had two fine doubles, O’Donnell hit a seventh inningtriple and Roper hit a double in the third but Marist could not convertthem into runs, conceding a sole run to an error and three pitchingmistakes. Hale was just not fast enough to make it to third when itseemed likely.
   It was disappointing final after such an entertaining seasonof tussles between Northcote, Marist and Bears, with rookie clubs Howickand Otahuhu looking likely to join in the action at a higher level nextseason.
   Marist and Te Atatu Roosters had an entertaining tusslebefore Marist won the men’s plate 7-6. Marist scored the early runs andRoosters scored in the latter stages, but fell short. Carlaus Te Kawa,top RBI batter of the season, hit one run home and Johnny Munden, topbase stealer of the season, showed his talent with three hits from threeturns, a feat equaled by his skipper Gus Leger, who also collected a homerun. They took the side’s seven hit total.
   For Roosters, Greg Anderson pitched well and also hit a homerun but it was Callum Ryan with one of the season’s top battingperformances. He went to bat four time, with three singles, and endedwith a home run for a perfect tally. His home run left the side just onerun short of Marist’s total but the others could not back up. Zaac Doney,Murray Hawke and Glenn Taylor were the other hitters.

Hutt City United and Porirua City United will play in the Wellington-HuttValley Intercity final of the Men's competition after they both recordedwins in their semi finals yesterday at Fraser Park.
HCU were always in command against Poneke Kilbirnie and ran out easywinners 7-2, while Porirua City United came from 8-2 against Miramar towin in the bottom of the seventh 10-9.
The Men's second division final between Royals and Johnsonville waswashed out and will now be played on Monday night.
Te Aroha retained the Women's Intercity title when they defeated Miramar8-1 at Fraser Park.
The Wellington Evergreens women look favourites to retain the title aftertwo convincing wins against Taumaranui 19-4 and Marlborough 25-0 atHataitai park.

Cheers Vance
Softball New Zealand web master.


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