Rams, Rovers rule the A-grade diamond

diamond top dogs : TWK Rams celebrate their victory in the A-grade men’s final of the Tairawhiti Softball Association pre-Christmas senior competition. The jubilant team are, back row (from left): Caylebook Kingi, Hayden Kiri, Chris Collier, Billy King, Mike McBeth, Xayvier Kingi, Tom Kingi Jr, Sam Kingi, Shane Kingi and Willie Sadlier. Front: Waka Ropiha, Paora Ropiha, Rawiri Ropiha, Cruz Hinaki, Tom Kingi Snr, Annette Kingi, Brooklyn Kingi, Dwayne Ropiha. Sitting in front is bat boy Te Waharangi Kingi. Picture by Liam Clayton

THE Tairawhiti senior softball champions have been decided in the pre-Christmas competitions.

They are TWK Rams (A-grade men); Rovers 1 (A-grade women), Steelers (B-grade men) and Rovers 2 (B-grade women).

A-GRADE MEN’S FINAL

TWK Rams 9 Spartans 8

THe rams finally claimed the elusive prize of champion men’s team when they beat old foes Spartans 9-8.

Despite the scoreline, the Rams always appeared in control, thanks to great pitching from starting pitcher Xayvier Kingi then father Tom Kingi Jr, and excellent catching from new recruit Cruz Hinaki.

Hinaki and Xayvier Kingi did equally well with the bat, coming home twice each.

There was also impressive batting from Mike McBeth and Shane Kingi.

Not to be outdone, Spartans’ TK Reihana hit an in-ground homer and teammate Jade Wilson was powerful with the bat.

Pitchers Treyson Hikitapua-Wilson, TK Reihana and finally Corey Reihana did their best to contain the Rams batters, but they would not be denied the victory.

A-GRADE WOMEN’S FINAL

Rovers (1) 12 Uawa Scorpions 5

Rovers were quickly out of the box and it proved the winning of the game.

They scored 11 runs in the opening three innings to stun the Scorpions and went on to win 12-5.

The Rovers batters took all chances on offer, with Waiti Campbell and Jessie Collier unleashing some huge hits.

Pitchers Waiti Campbell and Punky Hikawai contained the strong Uawa line-up.

For Uawa, pitcher Jana Ruru and catcher Jazmyne Kingi combined well while batters Leesa Kingi and Miriama Heke kept their hopes alive with some powerful hits.

A late change of pitcher to Challise Rutene sparked a comeback but time wasn’t on Uawa’s side.

B-GRADE MEN’S FINAL

Steelers 6 Gisborne Boys’ High (2) 5

Steelers had to work extra hard to come out on top 6-5 over Gisborne Boys’ High in a final that ended in a draw and was decided by countback.

The pitchers for both teams made it hard for batters — Triple Campbell, Rapana Ngaau and Shaquaid Hihi finding the strike zone for Steelers and Brandie Hinaki and Caleb Kingi impressing from the mound for the students.

Batting was even, as reflected in the score.

John Collier, Ngaau and Donald Witeri shone for Steelers. Hinaki, Brooklyn Kingi and Corey Boocock stood out for GBHS.

B-GRADE Women’S FINAL

Rovers (2) 17 Gisborne Girls’ High 6

Rovers 2 made it two from two for the club on finals day with a comfortable 17-6 defeat of Girls’ High.

Their batters did the damage in the first inning, with the whole team stepping up to the plate.

From there on, it was a struggle for GGHS.

Pitcher and national under-15 triallist Te Ratahi Campbell kept the Girls’ High batters guessing with her accuracy and pace.

All of the Rovers team played well, making it hard to pick other stand-outs in addition to Campbell.

THE Tairawhiti senior softball champions have been decided in the pre-Christmas competitions.

They are TWK Rams (A-grade men); Rovers 1 (A-grade women), Steelers (B-grade men) and Rovers 2 (B-grade women).

A-GRADE MEN’S FINAL

TWK Rams 9 Spartans 8

THe rams finally claimed the elusive prize of champion men’s team when they beat old foes Spartans 9-8.

Despite the scoreline, the Rams always appeared in control, thanks to great pitching from starting pitcher Xayvier Kingi then father Tom Kingi Jr, and excellent catching from new recruit Cruz Hinaki.

Hinaki and Xayvier Kingi did equally well with the bat, coming home twice each.

There was also impressive batting from Mike McBeth and Shane Kingi.

Not to be outdone, Spartans’ TK Reihana hit an in-ground homer and teammate Jade Wilson was powerful with the bat.

Pitchers Treyson Hikitapua-Wilson, TK Reihana and finally Corey Reihana did their best to contain the Rams batters, but they would not be denied the victory.

A-GRADE WOMEN’S FINAL

Rovers (1) 12 Uawa Scorpions 5

Rovers were quickly out of the box and it proved the winning of the game.

They scored 11 runs in the opening three innings to stun the Scorpions and went on to win 12-5.

The Rovers batters took all chances on offer, with Waiti Campbell and Jessie Collier unleashing some huge hits.

Pitchers Waiti Campbell and Punky Hikawai contained the strong Uawa line-up.

For Uawa, pitcher Jana Ruru and catcher Jazmyne Kingi combined well while batters Leesa Kingi and Miriama Heke kept their hopes alive with some powerful hits.

A late change of pitcher to Challise Rutene sparked a comeback but time wasn’t on Uawa’s side.

B-GRADE MEN’S FINAL

Steelers 6 Gisborne Boys’ High (2) 5

Steelers had to work extra hard to come out on top 6-5 over Gisborne Boys’ High in a final that ended in a draw and was decided by countback.

The pitchers for both teams made it hard for batters — Triple Campbell, Rapana Ngaau and Shaquaid Hihi finding the strike zone for Steelers and Brandie Hinaki and Caleb Kingi impressing from the mound for the students.

Batting was even, as reflected in the score.

John Collier, Ngaau and Donald Witeri shone for Steelers. Hinaki, Brooklyn Kingi and Corey Boocock stood out for GBHS.

B-GRADE Women’S FINAL

Rovers (2) 17 Gisborne Girls’ High 6

Rovers 2 made it two from two for the club on finals day with a comfortable 17-6 defeat of Girls’ High.

Their batters did the damage in the first inning, with the whole team stepping up to the plate.

From there on, it was a struggle for GGHS.

Pitcher and national under-15 triallist Te Ratahi Campbell kept the Girls’ High batters guessing with her accuracy and pace.

All of the Rovers team played well, making it hard to pick other stand-outs in addition to Campbell.

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