Junior players get to meet Black Sox

Tairawhiti Softball under-13 boys’ and girls’ teams not only played at a tournament in North Harbour, they got to see the sport at the highest level.

The New Zealand Black Sox were playing Japan at Albany last weekend, at the same venue as the Rookie Sox North Island tournament.

Tairawhiti u13 girls got through to the Division 2 final at Rosedale Park, losing 11-10 to Manawatu.

Coach Roy Timoti said he was pleased with the team’s development.

“We showed some Tairawhiti spirit,” he said.

“I was really proud that our girls were smiling and happy even though they had just lost the final.”

Timoti said Tairawhiti players could match their opponents’ skills but sometimes their “game sense” wasn’t quite there.

Standout players included Daeleigh Waihi.

“She was pitcher and did really well with her batting,” Timoti said.

Catcher Azzy Snowden was sound and first base Tomairangi Haua produced some nice plays.

Stella Perano did a great job at short stop, captain Sapphire Hihi was strong and “pocket rocket” Mereana Mangu was exciting to watch, Timoti said.

The u13 boys went winless but coach Jane Edwards said they played well against high-calibre opposition.

“We had really good passages of play,” she said.

Edwards said the players got to meet the Black Sox and watch Japan practise. They were awestuck by the skill level on display.

Of the younger boys in her team, Prynce Viliamu, 9, showed promise with the bat and Te Wahairangi Kingi, 10, was good at second base. Jonario Edwards, 11, her grandson, demonstrated his ability as a utility and Manaro Davoren, 10, stayed upbeat.

Edwards said the young players would be better for the experience next year.

Tairawhiti Softball under-13 boys’ and girls’ teams not only played at a tournament in North Harbour, they got to see the sport at the highest level.

The New Zealand Black Sox were playing Japan at Albany last weekend, at the same venue as the Rookie Sox North Island tournament.

Tairawhiti u13 girls got through to the Division 2 final at Rosedale Park, losing 11-10 to Manawatu.

Coach Roy Timoti said he was pleased with the team’s development.

“We showed some Tairawhiti spirit,” he said.

“I was really proud that our girls were smiling and happy even though they had just lost the final.”

Timoti said Tairawhiti players could match their opponents’ skills but sometimes their “game sense” wasn’t quite there.

Standout players included Daeleigh Waihi.

“She was pitcher and did really well with her batting,” Timoti said.

Catcher Azzy Snowden was sound and first base Tomairangi Haua produced some nice plays.

Stella Perano did a great job at short stop, captain Sapphire Hihi was strong and “pocket rocket” Mereana Mangu was exciting to watch, Timoti said.

The u13 boys went winless but coach Jane Edwards said they played well against high-calibre opposition.

“We had really good passages of play,” she said.

Edwards said the players got to meet the Black Sox and watch Japan practise. They were awestuck by the skill level on display.

Of the younger boys in her team, Prynce Viliamu, 9, showed promise with the bat and Te Wahairangi Kingi, 10, was good at second base. Jonario Edwards, 11, her grandson, demonstrated his ability as a utility and Manaro Davoren, 10, stayed upbeat.

Edwards said the young players would be better for the experience next year.

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