Auckland teams claim Softball New Zealand's four-inning national championships

Auckland teams claim Softball New Zealand's four-inning national championships
14/12/2020
The host teams won the 4-inning, 45-minute "Fastball 45" tournaments in the men and women’s events.

Softball New Zealand's "Fastball 45" national tournaments, a modified and shortened version of softball (See rulebook here), finished on Sunday in Auckland, New Zealand. The event was aired and streamed by Sky TV.

The men’s tournament was taken by the Central Bolts, who defeated the Wellington Thunder in the finals, 9-4. The champions -- captained by Black Sox Captain Cole EVANS and coached by legend Nathan NUKUNUKU -- went unbeaten as pitcher Liam TWIGDEN was named MVP of the tournament.

The women's championship saw Auckland’s West Waves beat the Hutt Valley Kotuku Raiders, 7-1, in the final, with Gretchen AUCOIN firing a no-hitter. The US-born pitcher struck out seven and collected three RBI to earn MVP honours.

The Softball New Zealand Fastball 45 national competition launched with three local series in Auckland, Lower Hutt and Wellington, with the top teams meeting in the weekend finale.

New Zealand is the third-ranked nation in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings and 16th in the women’s discipline.