Softball players look to impress Black Sox selectors

By Rahia Timutimu

Today the New Zealand Men’s Open Club Championships commence, with 17 teams from around the country vying to be the best club in the country in the four-day event which ends this Sunday.

However, being the top club isn’t the only focus for all players at this week’s competition, held in Rosedale Park North in Rosedale, Auckland.

Black Sox head coach Mark Sorenson said recently that it’s the final chance for hopefuls to impress him before he announces his squad for the Softball World Cup held in Prague this coming June.

“We always have a responsibility for the future to get the guys some exposure,” says Sorenson, “So there will be some conditioned and prepared athletes that are ready now and some might be ready down the track.”

The Ramblers are the defending champions in the competition and are looking to win again.  Player and coach Nathan Nukunuku, who is also the Black Sox captain, will do everything he can to help his side bring it home.

This year’s tournament is divided into two pools, with the Ramblers in the same pool as Howick, Porirua City United, 2016 national champions Hutt Valley Dodgers, Poneke Kilbirnie from Wellington and 2018 runners-up Papanui.

Auckland United have eight Black Sox representatives in their side including the three Māori brothers, Campbell, Ben and Thomas Enoka.

Round robin games commence today with the grand final held this Sunday afternoon.

SECTION A:

Ramblers - Auckland

Poneke Kilbirnie – Wellington

Howick – Auckland

Papanui – Canterbury

Porirua City United – Wellington

Dodgers – Hutt Valley

Marist – Auckland

Albion – Canterbury

SECTION B:

United – Auckland

Roosters – North Harbour

Johnsonville – Wellington

Northcote – North Harbour

Parklands Christchuch United Devilds – Canterbury

Miramar – Wellington

Marist – Hutt Valley

Otahuhu – Auckland

Island Bay – Wellington