26/11/2022 - 04/12/2022

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XVII Men's Softball World Cup 2022 - Official Payoff

Home team happy with hit out on eve of WBSC Softball World Cup in New Zealand

Home team happy with hit out on eve of WBSC Softball World Cup in New Zealand
21/11/2022
The International Invitational Tournament held in Palmerston North was the Black Sox's first international hit-out since participating in the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2019.

Black Sox coach New Zealand coach Mark Sorenson was pleased with his team’s shakedown at the International Invitational Tournament held in Palmerston North over the weekend, six days out from the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup where the world’s 12 best international men’s teams start play at North Harbour’s Rosedale Park on Saturday. Last weekend’s event was the Black Sox's first international hit-out since participating in the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2019.

“The best thing for us is we got games. It’s the first time in three and a half years that the Black Sox have played another country, so any time we can do that has to be positive,” said Sorenson. “The Manawatu Softball Association in conjunction with Softball New Zealand did a really great job.”

Sorenson said that the upcoming WBSC Softball World Cup is shaping up as the most even in recent memory. “The great thing about the Manawatu event is that nobody went through unbeaten. It is really competitive, which is great. Every game is putting our guys under different pressures than what they have encountered before.

“You can also throw in USA and Venezuela who were not here, and there is more than a handful of nations who are going to legitimately compete for this title in Auckland.

“I am sure there’s not a lot of sports in the world that could say there is a handful of teams that come into a world tournament with a fair bet of competing for the title.”

The New Zealand Black Sox took the opportunity to play several combinations over the two days in Palmerston North, emerging from opening day with losses to Canada and Japan to beat Argentina and Australia before finishing with a 3-2 loss to the impressive Czech Republic.

“I would have liked a few different performances on the diamond and a few different results,” said Sorenson. “We rotated the players, and just about everyone got a decent amount of game-time.

“We showed some resilience. After we got beaten twice on Saturday, we showed resilience to comeback against the current world champions in Argentina and we had a great game with them. We backed that on Sunday to beat Australia who went on to win the tournament final.

“The potential is there. We just need a bit more consistency in our application, that’s all.”