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Six Kiwis make all-star team at major world softball club tournament in United States

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Wayne Laulu batted .524 (11-for-21, with 16 RBI, including five home runs, a triple, double and seven walks. Laulu was selected a First-Team, All-World outfielder for helping lead the Toronto, Ontario Gators to second place in the 2015 ISC World Tournament in South Bend, Ind. Contributed Photo,

Wayne Laulu batted .524 (11-for-21, with 16 RBI, including five home runs, a triple, double and seven walks. Laulu was selected a First-Team, All-World outfielder for helping lead the Toronto, Ontario Gators to second place in the 2015 ISC World Tournament in South Bend, Ind. Contributed Photo,

By TONY SMITH / Stuff.co.nz

Six New Zealanders were selected in the all-star team at the International Softball Congress (ISC) tournament in the United States this week.

Current Black Sox internationals Nathan Nukunuku, Brad Rona, Ben Enoka and Wayne Laulu, Canterbury hitter Frank Pointon and Auckland catcher Kallan Compain made the “all world” first team at the ISC tournament, widely regarded as world softball’s top club championship.

The sextet were all members of the Toronto Gators team which lost the grand final to Ontario rivals, the Hill United Chiefs, 6-4 at South Bend, Indiana.

Hutt Valley catcher Cory Timu, who played for the Circle Tap Dukes club from Wisconsin, made the “all-world” second team.

Laulu picked up the award for the most runs batted in (RBIs) with 16. continue reading Six Kiwis make all-star team…

New Zealand softball great on hand to watch classic

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

“The batting has certainly come a long way, and it’s fair to say the pitching has gone back,” said the former first baseman who was also an elite coach.” – Dave Sorenson

By TONY SMITH / Stuff.co.nz

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Dave Sorenson played in one of the greatest games in New Zealand softball and witnessed another this week. And the contrast couldn’t have been starker.

Sorenson and fellow teammates from New Zealand’s first gold medal squad were honoured in an on-diamond parade before the dramatic batting fireworks in the Black Sox’ loss to Canada at Albany on Monday night.

The Hutt Valley stalwart captained New Zealand in 1976 and featured in a 20-inning marathon match against the United States, a veritable pitching clinic between the world’s two premier practitioners – New Zealand’s right-hander Kevin Herlihy and American southpaw Ty Stofflet.

It was, quite possibly, the greatest personal duel within a team sport context in New Zealand sporting history.

Both men threw all 20 innings, with Stofflet striking out and dismissing 56 consecutive batters. Only one Kiwi made base – after he was hit by a pitch.

Herlihy gave up a handful of hits, including one to Stofflet, who drove in the winning run in the 20th inning.

Oh how times have changed at the ball yard.

The Black Sox-Canada clash was a classic for entirely different reasons. The slugfest featured 26 hits – 17 to the Canadians and nine by the Kiwis – and five automatic home runs.

Stofflet and Herlihy hurled close to three regulation seven innings games in one encounter. There was no question of bringing on reinforcements to relieve tiring arms.

The Black Sox and Canada used four pitchers each in eight innings on Monday.

Sorenson said the game, won by 9-7 by Canada, showed how much softball had changed since ’76.

“The batting has certainly come a long way, and it’s fair to say the pitching has gone back,” said the former first baseman who was also an elite coach.

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New Zealand Black Sox must bounce back against Argentina

Monday, March 4th, 2013

By Tony Smith / Stuff.co.nz

Softball World Champs - New Zealand v Japan, 3 March 2013
Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase must get his side up after their loss to Canada as they face a must-win tonight against Argentina.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – The Black Sox coaching staff claim the plate umpire’s “tight zone” was a factor in their pitchers giving up a massive 17 safe hits in last night’s 9-7 world championship tiebreaker loss to Canada.

Head coach Eddie Kohlhase and pitching coach Chubb Tangaroa said the pitchers were forced to come in over the middle of the plate because they were not getting the corners called in the 3hr-25min marathon.

Tangaroa, a former world champion pitcher, said he was not blaming plate umpire Randall McLamb because he was “consistent for both teams.”

Canada’s four pitchers also gave up nine hits in a 26-hit slugfest that featured five automatic home runs (three to the Black Sox – two to Brad Rona and another by Donny Hale – and two to Canada).

But Kohlhase said the umpire “had a very tight zone” and “one or two calls in the field probably didn’t go our way as well.”

“I’d like to view the tape and have a good look at our zone, but certainly some of our better hitters…we’ll just leave it at that, I think…”

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