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New Zealand Black Sox win Challenge Cup after smashing Argentina in final

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

WAYNE LAULU hit a grand slam homer to give the New Zealand Black Sox a walk-off 8-6 win over Argentina to send New Zealand into the finals of the 2017 Challenge Cup where they once again downed Argentina, 9-0, to claim the championship. Courtesy Photo

Newshub.com
Feb. 12, 2017

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – The Black Sox rediscovered their form with a disciplined 9-0 win over Argentina in the final of the Challenge Cup men’s fastpitch softball tournament in Auckland.

The New Zealanders had qualified directly for the final after a tempestuous 8-6 win over world No.3 Argentina on Saturday night gave them nine wins from 10 matches.

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Big shoes to fill, but Halsey’s relishing the challenge

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
Australian, Dean Halsey, 19, will be pitching for the Kansas City Astros during the 2015 United States men's fastpitch season. Courtesy Photo

Australian, Dean Halsey, 19, will be pitching for the Kansas City Astros during the 2015 United States men’s fastpitch season. Courtesy Photo

KANSAS CITY – For the past two seasons, the KC Outlaws have reaped the benefits of having a superior pitcher – one of the best young arms in the game – in New Zealand’s Ethan Johnston.

The talented right-hander pitched the Outlaws to a runner-up spot in the 2013 NAFA World Series A Division, and last year led them to fourth place in the A-Major Division.

He was a Co-Most Valuable pitcher and All-World selection in the World Series. But Johnston isn’t returning to Kansas City this summer. So the search went out for a replacement chucker. One to fill Johnston’s shoes. The Outlaws found one in New Zealander Kevin Papuni, said manager Michael Borjas.

And in major development during the off season, the ball club split into two teams with four players staying with the Outlaws, while several others formed the KC Astros.

So with Johnston deciding not to pitch for the Astros either, and instead taking his talent to Osaka, Japan, the brand new ball club had to search for a pitcher too.

    ONE FOREIGN TALENT REPLACES ANOTHER

And they appear to have found a good one. A pitcher with experience, with talent, and with a soaring upside to his game. But instead of signing a New Zealander, the Astros landed an Aussie.

Dean Halsey, a 19 year old, hails from Wyreema, Queensland, Australia. He’s got all the pitches, has played for his country’s national junior teams, and is thrilled to be coming to the United States on his first trip abroad.

“I am really excited to be here in the U.S. playing with such great guys,” said Halsey. “I just want to learn as much as I can from everyone I meet and play with; it’s going to be an incredible experience.”

Click to continue reading “Big shoes to fill, but Halsey’s relishing the challenge”