Auckland Fastpitch Competition Awards Night

March 18, 2007

Auckland, NZ

Auckland Fastpitch Competition Awards’ Night worthy of an award too. - ByTrevor Rowse.

   If you didn’t attend then it will be hard to imagine thatthis was a night unlike any other award evening you have been to, orheard about and every fastpitch area should try to match it.

   It is impossible to describe the noise which greeted thespecial video, made with the cooperation of every one of the 15 teamsinvolved. It was hilarious, and so well done, to the theme of “GreasedLightning”.

   The out-takes were even more hilarious, especially when itwas revealed that Northcote men, faced with very few words to sing, hadto pin some word sheets on the backs of other performers. And the threeblind mice umpires, with white sticks, was a great performance, and bravetoo. Well done guys.

   The rehearsals and filming took many days but did somethingmore than just achieve a great show. It also cemented team relationshipsand added more fun to an amateur sport, which is what players need thesedays. You could see and feel the impact.

   No wonder the Auckland Fastpitch Championship is so popular.There is so much spirit and friendship involved, with little jealousy anda great deal of appreciation of the high standards achieved by somany.

   Host Jeremy Lambert, so well known in softball circles, keptthe evening going in a light-hearted way and the speeches were only thenecessary ones, especially to thank those who made it allpossible.

   The view on entry was impressive, with a most appropriatestaging and presentation, with larger than life photos of some playersand an impressive opening atmosphere in the huge concert hall at theOnehunga Workingmen’s Club. Do not be fooled by the name. It is a placeyou could take anyone to.

   Included was a buffet meal and the whole evening came at aprice which was so reasonable that even the poorest of players wouldspend probably spend more for a round of drinks after a game.

   Christine Nukunuku, coordinator of the event, was determinedto develop the theme of teams, rather than individual awards, and itsucceeded.

   The awards were well received. The players’ MVP nominationscame to one person from each club, voted for by opposing teams, with thewinner taken from the most popular vote.

   There was a team of the year, based on statistics alone inthe nominated positions and the usual statistical awards, compiled sowell all year by the tight group of official scorers who serve the gameso well. They are always backed up by the team scorers, part of thebackbone of every top side.

   This was the third awards’ night and a triumph for ChristineNukunuku, daughter Teena Hireme, son Dion Nukunuku, Sina Hunkin andAnthea Nukunuku.

   Months of preparation, many hours of work in the precedingdays and some late nights editing the complicated DVD were worth it,judging from the applause generated so many times. The person who had thegreatest reception was Sina Hunkin when she was named as top batter. Theroom erupted as Donny Hale’s girlfriend had top billing, for a change.She must be the most popular player in the city. Donny was top coachhowever and had his moments of recognition.

   Dion Nukunuku, one of the most decorated of all softballers,is the coordinator of the competition, still playing and coaching, aswell as being the first active player on the Auckland Control Board foralmost 40 years. His intelligence and determination to achieve highstandards was also reflected in the evening.

   It is a credit to the ASA Board that it has allowed thepremier levels to be run by someone who was a originally not a member.But the emphasis given by a tight group of softball supporters has madethe series the showboat of fastpitch softball and I doubt that there isan equivalent in the rest of the world.

   What is there, apart from a top competition and real spirit?If you missed it, make sure that you attend next season. (Only one awardwinner failed to show, for the third time in a row).

Auckland Fastpitch Championship softball series: Awards2006-07

Most valuable players, as chosen by all players: Tina Martens(Howick), Courtney Maihi (Marist), Michal Tangaroa (Northcote), CourtneyWarren (Otahuhu), Shannon Lockton (Waitakere Bears).
Overall winner: Michal Tangaroa.

Men: Paul Martin (Glenora), Leon Hardie (Howick), Jamie Love (Marist),Des Pemerika (Metro), Brad Rona (Northcote), Alex Katene (Otahuhu),Lyndon Andrew (Ramblers), Greg Anderson (Roosters), Ben Enoka (United).
Overall winner: Ben Enoka.

Top scorer: Harriet Tomlin.
Top umpire: Jeff Weber (third year in a row).
Most stolen bases: Tegan Bromhead (Bears) and Jonathan Munden (Marist).
Most home runs: Lisa Hau (Northcote) 2, Nathan Nukunuku (Ramblers) 10.
Most runs batted in: Megan Farrell (Bears) 16 and Carlaus Te Kawa(Marist) 26.
Best and fairest: Megan Farrell and Kim Hansen (Metro).
Top pitchers: Michal Tangaroa 0.43 and Heinie Shannon (United) 1.73.
Top batters: Sina Hunkin (Marist) .403 and Lyndon Andrew .488.
MVP: Ngamoko Hiku (Northcote) and Nathan Nukunuku.

AFC Series Teams (based on whole season statistics) –

Pitchers: Michal Tangaroa (Northcote), Megan Farrell (Waitakere Bears),catchers: Mereana Joseph (Waitakere Bears), Tina Martens (Howick), 1stbase: Cherie Wihapi (Otahuhu), 2nd base: Courtney Warren (Otahuhu), 3rdbase: Pauline Tahuri (Northcote), shortstop: Lisa Hau (Northcote),outfield: Sina Hunkin (Marist), Ngamoko Hiku (Northcote), Lydia Isaac(Marist), DP: Rebecca Bromhead (Waitakere Bears), utilities: Casey Roper(Marist), Rebecca Rameka (Otahuhu). Coach: Jackie Smith (Northcote),manager John Ball (Marist), scorer: Tania Irving (WaitakereBears)

Pitchers: Heinie Shannon (United), Kim Hansen (Metro), catchers: PatrickShannon (Royal Canin Waitakere Bears), Leon Hardie (Newcastle HomesHowick), 1st base: Lyndon Andrew (Ramblers), 2nd base: Tai Hiku(Roosters), 3rd base: Dylan Tomlin (Marist), shortstop: Nathan Nukunuku(Ramblers), outfield: Michael Niu (Metro), Gus Leger (Marist), DesPemerika (Metro), DP: Thomas Katene (Otahuhu), utilities: Jonathan Munden(Marist), Carlaus Te Kawa  (Marist). Coach: Donny Hale (Ramblers),manager: Danny Knight (Roosters), scorer: Tracey Atkins (Metro).

Cheers Vance
Softball New Zealand web master.


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