Australia prevail in final shakedown ahead of WBSC Softball World Cup

Australia prevail in final shakedown ahead of WBSC Softball World Cup
Australia finished on top of the six-team international invitational tournament in Palmerston North, a lead-up tournament to the WBSC Softball World Cup in Auckland.

Australia claimed the honours in the International Invitational men’s softball tournament, featuring six international teams, in Palmerston North on Sunday. The world No. 4 beat world No. 2 Japan 4-0 in the final of the tournament, as a lead-up to the upcoming WBSC Softball World Cup which will take place from 26 November to 4 December in Auckland.

Despite battling inclement weather, which washed out the first day’s play, a total of fifteen games were played plus the final at the world-class facilities at Palmerston North’s Colquhoun Park, a legacy of the WBSC U-18 Softball World Cup.

Australia, led by powerful displays from high profile pitchers Michael Kronk and Joshua White, began with a 3-2 win over world No. 1 ranked Argentina before being soundly beaten by the Czech Republic 8-1. They bounced back with a close win over Japan, lost 6-5 in a thriller to New Zealand before handing Canada their second loss 2-0 to earn a place in the final where they again accounted for Japan 4-0.

Results from the International Invitational tournament are:

  • Canada 4 New Zealand 2
  • Australia 3 Argentina 2
  • Japan 3 Czech Republic 0
  • Canada 3 Argentina 0
  • Japan 6 New Zealand 0
  • Czech Republic 8 Australia 1
  • Canada 5 Czech Republic 1
  • Australia 5 Japan 4
  • New Zealand 3 Argentina 2
  • Canada 7 Japan 1
  • New Zealand 6 Australia 5
  • Argentina 8 Czech Republic 0
  • Czech Republic 3 New Zealand 2
  • Japan 6 Argentina 0
  • Australia 2 Canada 0
  • Final: Australia 4 Japan 0

The six teams head to Auckland to join USA, Venezuela, Philippines, Cuba, Denmark and South Africa for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, which begins on Saturday. Teams compete in two pools over the first five days, before the top three teams in each group advance to the Super Round, while the remaining six teams compete in the Placement Round.

The top two teams from the Super Round qualify for the final on 4 December, with all New Zealand games and playoff games broadcast live on Whakaata Maori, and all games of the tournament available for the international audience on the WBSC's OTT Channel GameTime.

Auckland is hosting the top men’s softball event for the second time in the tournament’s 57-year history, after the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup was also staged at Rosedale Park in 2013. The other New Zealand cities to host the event are Lower Hutt in 1976 and Christchurch in 2004.

Click here for tickets for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup.