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New Zealand Black Sox Men’s Fastpich Softball Team looks at change in style

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013


NEW ZEALAND – A change in roster could herald a shift in game plan for the New Zealand men’s softball team as they build towards the defence of their world title.

A loss of experience and power hitting could mean a change of style for the Black Sox men’s softball team under new coach Mark Sorenson.

In naming his first squad, Sorenson has cast the net wide as New Zealand begin a two-year build-up towards the defence of the world crown they won in Auckland this year.

Sorenson is excited by the replacements he has found for several veteran players who have called it a day, but says it doesn’t mean a continuation of a formula that has been successful.

Mark_Sorenson Mark Sorenson was appointed as Head Coach of the New Zealand Black Sox National Men’s Fastpitch Team in 2013. The Black Sox won the 2013 International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship with a 9-1 record, and will defend its crown in 2015 at Saskatoon, SK, Canada, June 26-July 7 in the 14th occasion of the world wide men’s fastpitch championships.

“Not only have we lost a lot of experience, we’ve also lost a lot of power,” he said. “While we’ve still got big boppers like Brad Rona and Donny Hale, most of the other guys are very, very fit and fast, so we’ll have to approach the game differently and use those skills to build pressure on the opposition.”

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The captain and pitcher lead Black Sox to World Championship

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

nzl.jub.3web The New Zealand Black Sox celebrate their sixth ISF World Championship after beating Venezuela, 4-1, at Rosedale Park in Auckland, Sunday, March 10.

“No two words (world championship) sound so pretty together.” – Black Sox catcher Patrick Shannon

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – The New Zealand Black Sox had a couple of concerns going into the ISF World Softball Championship. Would their injured captain be able to perform at his world-class standard? And which pitcher would step forward as New Zealand’s go-to guy?

The captain, Rhys Casley, and the pitcher, Jeremy Manley, put those concerns to rest in grand style. Between the two of them, they helped lead New Zealand to a record-breaking sixth world softball championship Gold medal with a 4-1 victory over Venezuela on Sunday.

In front of a packed Rosedale Park in Auckland, Casley belted a three-run home run in the third inning to break a 1-1 tie. With the lead, Manley buckled down and pitched a gem, scattering four hits in going the distance.

For Manley, it was his second win over Venezuela. In the deciding winner’s playoff game, he shackled the South American’s on four hits and 15 strikeouts for a 2-0 win.

Along with its sixth championship, New Zealand won the gold in 1976 at Christchurch (shared with the USA and Canada after the tournament was rained out), 1984 and ’96 at Midland, Mich.; 2000 in East London, South Africa, and again at Christchurch in 2004.

After the game, about 3,500 delirious Black Sox fans – cheering and dancing in the stands – showed their appreciation for their national team bringing the championship back home.

“All the hard work and all the training was worth it,” said catcher Patrick Shannon, who helped the Black Sox cause with a home run. “We proved ourselves in the world championship. No two words sound so pretty together.”

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