Golden-Homes-for-home-page (1)(copy)

Golden Homes Black Sox

Black Sox Tour of Canada
19 June
The Golden Homes Black Sox two games tonight will be covered live on the ISC network. In order to listen to these games click the hyperlink below.
http://www.meridix.com/everywhere.php?liveid=iscfastpitch

Please note the order of tonight’s games has changed, game one v Mississauga All Stars and Game Two v Toronto Gators.
Game times are 11am and 1pm Thursday, NZ time.


 
Te Wera Bishop doesn't mind being back on the diamond at Porirua Park it's home
‘This is what I’m used to, I love being back here,’’ he said.
 
The Porirua softballer was the talk of the town and his sport
Te Wera(copy)
when in January 2011 the then 17-year-old signed with the Boston Red Sox baseball team after hewas spotted throwing with his brother at the New Zealand under-16 champs.
 
It’s been a whirlwind three years since for Bishop. 
 
He spent a year in the Major League Baseball Academy programme on Australia's Gold Coast (batting .288, with 38 hits and 16 runs in 132 at bats) then a season in the rookie Gulf Coast League in Florida.
 
His numbers were more modest there in 2012. He batted .189, with 10 hits in 53 at bats.
 
He was released by the Red Sox last year, but said making the move back to playing softball for his beloved Porirua City United, fulltime work and living in Tawa with his partner had been seamless.
 
‘‘It’s [baseball] something I’m glad I had a crack at, but I’m happy where I am now. ‘‘Baseball might be on the cards later, but softball and seeing my family is huge for me,’’ the 20-year-old catcher said.
The day to day of life as a rookie baseballer involved early starts, hotel living, constant hitting in batting cages, games, and 5pm finishes. It was non-stop in the weird Florida weather.
 
‘‘You’d get rainstorms that would come through for half an hour, everything would get flooded and then the sun would come out and it would be as hot as anything. It was just crazy, the humidity was disgusting.’’
 
Bishop said his fellow rookies were welcoming of the Kiwi in their midst. He met top players such as David Ortiz and was impressed by their cordiality.
 
It was hard to come to grips with the statistics driven nature of baseball, he said, because every aspect of the game was analysed and dissected. 
 
It was harder to hit a good softball pitcher, he said, but the technical aspects of baseball were a lot to take in.
Eventually, his statistics weren’t impressive enough in the Gulf Coast League to warrant further interest from the Red Sox.
 
‘‘At the last [Major League Baseball] draft, the Red Sox took three rookie catchers, so I could see what was coming. I played in the Gulf Coast championship game, so that was something, but on paper my numbers didn’t look good.’’
 
An option Bishop had was to play in an independent American league that is regularly scouted by the major league teams. But being home with his partner, family and friends was more important.
 
Although his club season with Porirua City United is winding down, Bishop is in the Black Sox training squad leading to a series against Australia from March 28 till 30 in Albany. 
 
Regardless of whether he makes it back to the United States, he’s better for the experience.
 
‘‘I grew up a lot in my time over there. To be part of a professional organisation opened my eyes a lot and I’m grateful for that.’’
 
2013 Tradestaff World Championships Final Stats for all Teams

Final batting stats download here

Final pitching stats download here

N.B. All calculations are done on SNZ Softball scoring standards
   
Black Sox Internal Tour Itinerary

Nelson 14th November

- 12.00pm – 12.45pm: Clifton Tce School

- 1.15pm – 2.15pm: Waimea College Softball

- 1.15pm – 2.15pm: Nelson College Softball

- 3.15pm: Meet the kids / fans (Saxton Field)

- 5.30pm: Exhibition Game against Upper South Island Selection

Nelson 15th November

10.00am – 11.00am: Broadgreen Intermediate Softball

11.15am – 12.15pm: Nelson Intermediate Softball

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Waimea Intermediate Softball

5.30pm: Exhibition Game against Nelson Softball Selection

Wellington 16th November

- WSA 75th Dinner

Wellington 17th November

- Black Sox arrive to interact with players and coaches etc. Signed posters and balls to give away.

- 1.00pm: Black Sox vs. local selection

- 3.15pm: Celebrity game slow pitch
Sandra Edge (silver ferns), Ken Laban (rugby league, TV) , Dave Smart (classic hits) Mark Sorenson (softball) Kate Horan (para olympics & world champion) Robyn Wong  (Olympics & commonwealth games mountain biker) Glen Roff (Softball NZ) Richard Watt (Hurricanes) Phil Gibbons (CEO Sport Wgtn) Chris Middleton (Waikato Rugby Lock) Earl Va’a (Western Samoan WC Rugby) T.J Perenara (Hurricanes) Mark Reddish (Hurricanes) Phil Gibbons (CEO Sport Wgtn) Katrina Grant (Pulse) Ross Bond (Rugby Commentator) 

- 4.15pm: Cake cutting and speeches etc

- 5.00pm: Black Sox vs. local selection

Hastings 18th November

- 4.00pm: Black Sox vs. Hawkes Bay NFC team

- 6.00pm: Black Sox vs. Hawkes Bay NFC team
 

Hastings 19th November

- 8.00am: Mayoral reception hosted by Lawrence Yule, Hastings District Council Mayor

- 9.30am – 10.45am: Coaching Clinics at Akina Park for Primary School

North Shore 19th November

Schools Festival Day

- Launch of schools programme, Junior World Softball Championships and SNZ schools resources, and delivery of fun activities

North Shore 20th November

- AM: Attend schools involved in KiwiSport initiatives

- PM: Exhibition match Black Sox v local selection

North Shore 21st November

Black Sox Activity

- AM: Jump off the sky tower/bungy jump, media opportunity

Black Sox Team: Nik Hayes, Arron Neemia, Campbell Makea, Tyrone Bartorillo, Tyson Byrne, Dan Tarpari, Jerome Haretuku, Ben Enoka, Wayne Laulu, Rhys Casley. Additional local Black Sox players will be included at various locations on the tour.

 
Black Sox Internal Tour Ready to Commence
12/11/2012

Taking it easy will be the last thing on the minds of the Black Sox players selected for the “Get on the Bus” road trip. The tour begins on in Nelson and then travels to Wellington before heading to the Hawke’s Bay . The last leg of the trip is at the world championship venue
 
For the tour Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase has opted to include several younger members of his squad with world championship hopeful Nick Hayes one who will be wanting to make the most of his chances after his late call-up to the Black Sox for their North American tour earlier this year. Hayes will be sharing the pitching duties during the tour with another world championship rookie Penese Iosefa.
 
On the bus but expected to take a limited role in the road trip is Black Sox captain Rhys Casley, who  underwent shoulder surgery last week.

The tour starts in Nelson on Wednesday and then two days later the side arrives in Wellington where they will be based for the weekend and take part in a number of activities planned as part of that association’s 75th jubilee celebrations.  In Wellington the side will play against a Wellington Selection team which will include a number of Black Sox squad members.
 
The next stop for the tourists is in Hawke’s Bay where they will on Sunday play two games and then on Monday visit a number of schools in the area.
 
The team is then scheduled to arrive in North Shore on November 20 and will visit a number of schools before playing games, including an evening match at the world championship venue, Rosedale Park.
 
The following day the players will be involved in a number of training and coaching sessions at schools on the North Shore.
 
Black Sox Internal Tour
26/09/2012
 
Nelson will be the starting point of the Black Sox Internal Tour as the team heads toward next year’s world softball championships which will be held at Rosedale Park on the North Shore.
The side, ranked number two in the world after relinquishing their crown to Australia at the 2009 tournament, begin their trek in Nelson when they assemble there on November 13. The following day they will play games giving local supporters an opportunity to come and watch them.
get-on-the-bus-nz-web
The trek north includes a two day stop in Nelson from November 14-15 where the team will play games and visit a number of schools in that area.

On November 16 the players will be in Wellington and will be involved in that Association’s 75th jubilee celebration which includes a dinner on that evening at which coach Eddie Kohlhase is a guest speaker. On the Saturday the team will make visits to venues involving junior games and then will play two games, including an evening match-up.

On Sunday the team head to Hawke’s Bay and will again play two games and the following day visit schools in the region.

The team is then scheduled to arrive in North Shore on November 20 and will visit schools in the region before playing games, including one in the evening.

The following day the players will conduct a number of training and coaching sessions at a number of schools on the North Shore before the players return to their home base.

For the team it is important that they reach out to their fan base ahead of next year’s world championship with the players looking at regaining their crown. It is the first time since 1996 tournament that the side will have gone into the world championship as the number 2 team in the competition. The team of 1996 won that tournament and then went on to win the events in 2000 and 2004, which was in Christchurch, before Australia beat them at the 2009 event in Saskatoon, Canada.
 
More information regarding the events and activities will be released shortly.


Get on the Bus NZ
Get on the Bus NZ and support your team bring home gold in North Harbour. The team needs your support as it hunts its sixth world crown on New Zealand soil.
Search for Black Sox

13 May
Coach Softball New Zealand has begun the search for its next world champion Black Sox coach. After leading the national men’s team to victory at the ISF world softball title at Rosedale Park in March, incumbent Eddie Kohlhase indicated he would not be back for a third tournament at the helm. After a couple of months to reflect on that decision, he’s opted to stand by it. “Eddie has been an incredible asset to the game of softball and the Black Sox in particular, firstly as a player, then an assistant coach and, most recently, as head coach,” says Softball New Zealand general manager Dane Dougan. “We certainly hope to retain his services in the high performance field going forward, but we now face the challenge of finding a suitable replacement for our flagship team.” With the world championship cycle now shortened to every two years, the team must now begin a build-up towards defending their crown at Saskatoon, Canada, in 2015. The Black Sox have now won four of the last five world titles, with the last three coaches – Kohlhase (2013), Don Tricker (2000, 2004) and Mike Walsh (1996) – all successful. But New Zealand have found Saskatoon a particularly unhappy hunting ground – they finished runners-up to the United States there in 1988 and Australia in 2009. Applications close on May 24 and Softball New Zealand hope to announce a new coach by mid-June.
 
2013 Tradestaff World Championships Final Stats for all Teams

Final batting stats download here

Final pitching stats download here

N.B. All calculations are done on SNZ Softball scoring standards
 
"Captain Courageous" Casley leads Black Sox to sixth world title

11 March

Skipper Rhys Casley completed a miraculous comeback from injury to provide a winning three-run homer and lead his Black Sox to their sixth title at the Tradestaff ISF World Softball Championship in Auckland.

New Zealand defeated Venezuela 4-1 in today’s final at Rosedale Park, with Casley driving in Brad Rona and Daniel Milne to break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the third inning.

The regular second baseman required surgery after badly injuring his throwing shoulder last year and was still doubtful as recently as two weeks ago, when reserve Nathan Nukunuku was called into the squad as infield cover.

But hitting as a designated player, the captain came up with the goods when it counted.

“It’s all too surreal at the moment,” he admitted afterwards. “It hasn’t sunk in – it might take a couple of weeks.”

Jeremy Manley, another who battled back from injury and surgery over the past couple of months, pitched the entire game for six strikeouts and just three hits, and was subsequently named Most Valuable Pitcher.

From the start, Venezuela, who had eliminated champions Australia earlier in the morning, wasted no time putting pressure on their rivals.

Lead-off batter Ivan Paez smacked a triple into rightfield off Manley’s first pitch and next up, Herwins Querales took a delivery on his hands to reach first base.

When Manley walked Edwin Linares, bases were loaded and Paez came home, tagging up on a fly ball that was caught in foul territory by Donny Hale.

But Manley got out of the inning without further damage and the Black Sox were perhaps fortunate to trail by just one run.

“They were on an emotional high and hitting fairly well,” said coach Eddie Kohlhase. “We thought if we could get that first innings, we’d have enough offensive power to beat them.”

The home side had an opportunity to answer immediately, with short stop Tyson Byrne and slugger Rona hitting singles. But when Casley struck out looking, they were left stranded.

They had a bigger chance in the second inning – Thomas Makea grounded into a double play and behind him, Patrick Shannon cleared rightfield for a solo homer that could have been much more.

But in the third inning, Casley made up for his earlier lapse with the crucial hit over centrefield. By that stage, Venezuela were already onto their third pitcher – Ramon Jones – who seemed to immediately lose composure when his favourite ball was fouled out of the stadium, never to be seen again.

With two outs, he hit Rona with a pitch and then walked Milne, before presenting Casley with the money ball over the plate. Milne had subbed in for Hale, who broke his little finger sliding into third base.

“Daniel’s was a big at-bat for us in the context of the game,” reflected Casley. “If he doesn’t get on base, who knows what happens.

“I never expected to hit the ball out. I was just looking to make solid contact and was happy to get wood on the ball.”

Casley’s big bomb answered the critics that had questioned Kohlhase’s decision to keep him on the roster, dropping rookie Jerome Haretuku, when it seemed he might be a passenger through the tournament. The coach had always insisted his man would play an important part in the outcome and that faith proved well founded.

“He was our Captain Courageous,” beamed Kohlhase. “He really shouldn’t have been here with that injury.

“It was a credit to the physios and medical staff that got him out there. What an outstanding player.”

Then it was up to Manley to keep the South Americans at bay. He had also had his critics in the build-up, but thrived on four starts in five nights as his form returned.

“We’ve worked hard for this since 2009,” said Kohlhase. “The team has just believed, really.

“We stuck to our processes and systems, and I’m just very proud of them.”

For several of the veterans, this will likely be their last appearance in the Black Sox uniform. Utility Jarrad Martin, who recently turned 40, and outfielder Makea have now won four world titles, while Shannon made no secret he would not be back.

“We spoke a little about that this morning,” said Casley. “Every time you put on the black shirt, you never know whether it could be your last – you just never know who won’t be back.”

NZ Black Sox 4 (Patrick Shannon HR, Rhys Casley HR, Brad Rona, Daniel Milne) Venezuela 1 (Ivan Paez)
 
Rhys Casley (Ben Campbell) Black Sox (Ben Campbell)
Pic caption: Black Sox captain Rhys Casley with the world championship trophy. Credit: Ben Campbell. Pic caption: Black Sox with world championship trophy. Credit Ben Campbell.

 
Mens World Championships – Day 7 Preview
 
Japan v Australia
Both teams will be desperate to keep their world championship dream alive. Japan held on to topple Samoa while Australia had the marathon game against the Black Sox last night. Of those two play-off games the Australians had the more draining one the defending world champions who had been unbeaten had to play 10 innings of ball and were out on Freeman Field for over three hours, but then toughness is something that side knows all about.  The two have in their line-ups some impressive players – Masteru Matsuaka and Hikaru Matsuda from Japan and Adam Folkard, Andrew Kirkpatrick and Michael Tanner in the Australian line-up.
 
Argentina v Canada
A re-match of the opening game these two sides played at the tournament.  On that occasion Canada came out the victors, but not before they had been given a fright as Argentina scored the opening run in the first inning and looked to have gotten their campaign off to a dream start. Instead Canada came back in the seventh and forced the game into two extra innings before winning that match up 2-1. Key players today for Argentina will be pitcher Lucas Carabaja, who is considered to be among the best in the game while for Canada, Ryan Boland and Brad Ezekiel are dangerous with the bat having between them contributed to half of their sides 44 runs at the tournament.
 
Black Sox v Venezuela
Simple really, win and you are playing in tomorrow’s final and both sides will be desperate to do just that. The Black Sox have been in this position so often before, but their opponents have not. Venezuela will go into the game as the real underdog - they have never beaten the New Zealanders and have never been in a position to be playing for a place in a world championship final – but then they were by many not expected to be even in this situation. The South Americans have in their line-up Rafael Flores and Luiger Pinto who are among the top batters at the tournament. They also have a solid pitching staff which is spearheaded by Erick Urbaneja and Ramon Jones. The Black Sox too have an impressive batting line-up with Brad Rona, Tyson Byrne and Ben Enoka all hitting form. The pitching staff for the Black Sox will be wanting to do their job well, especially as it means if they come out with the win they do not have the worry of an extra game to be in the final.
 
Sox Start on a Winning note

2nd March

Veteran Jarrad Martin hit a lead-off home run in a big second innings to give New Zealand the start they needed at the Tradestaff ISF World Softball Championships, dispatching Mexico 5-0 at Auckland's Rosedale Park.

After Tyson Byrne scored in the first at-bat, Martin (40), in his fifth world tournament, cleared the leftfield fence to spark a three-run innings that gave the Black Sox a 4-0 lead. Daniel Milne and Tyron Bartorillo also crossed home plate, and Bartorillo completed the scoring in the fourth innings.

Leftie Heinie Shannon opened the pitching with eight strikeouts and four hits, and in his world championship debut, Nik Hayes pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings, also with eight strikeouts.

Coach Eddie Kohlhase was very pleased with the first-up victory, particularly holding the Central Americans scoreless.

Any time you can do that the world championships is an achievement, he said. Both Heinie and Nick were quite phenomenal ­ I think Nik was a bit of an unknown proposition for them, but we need to keep his feet on the ground and keep our feet on the ground.

Kohlhase also praised his vets Martin and Thomas Makea, who subbed on in rightfield to make a spectacular back-pedalling catch and hit a stand-up double in the seventh innings.

After entering the tournament under an injury cloud, captain Rhys Casley also made a surprise appearance at second base in the third innings. Even Kohlhase had not planned on testing his skipper's dodgy shoulder in the
field so soon.

Tyson suffered a concussion sliding into third base and we needed a bit of a re-shuffle, said the coach. It was good to see Rhys out there and he felt really good, so that's another positive to come out of an unfortunate situation.

The Black Sox had shown some patchy lead-up form to the tournament, but looked assured against tricky opponents.

I think the expectation hit home to this team over the last month or so, observed infielder Nathan Nukunuku, who joined the team for his fourth world event just this week to cover for Casley's injury.

When you haven't been through that before, it can be a bit of a mind job, so this was a big step for them.

In other games today, Samoa beat Great Britain 2-0, Colombia defeated the Philippines 4-2, Czech Republic got up over Indonesia 10-3, Japan blitzed Netherlands 7-0, Venezuela were too good for South Africa 6-0, Canada
edged Argentina 2-1 in two extra innings and defending champions Australia were ominous in trouncing the United States 6-0.

The Black Sox face Colombia at 2.30pm

NZ Black Sox 5 (Tyron Bartorillo 2, Tyson Byrne, Jarrad Martin, Daniel Milne) Mexico 0

 
NZ Black Sox Media Guide

1st March

NZ Black Sox 2013 Tradestaff World Softball Championship Media Guide Download here

 
Milne leaves park for Black Sox

27 Feb

Black Sox outfielder Daniel Milne hit a three-run homer in the fourth innings to highlight a 9-0 win in five innings over South Africa.

In their final hit-out before the start of the Tradestaff ISF World Softball Championship in Auckland on Friday, the NZ men were never threatened, registering two runs in their opening turn at bat.

With pitcher Penese Iosefo showing good control from the start, the South Africans were never able to mount a challenge and that trend continued when Jeremy Manley relieved his team-mate in the fourth innings.

The run spree was a welcome show of form from the Kiwi batters, as they prepare for the opening game of their world title bid against Mexico, 7.30pm Friday.

The Black Sox will train tomorrow, schedule to be finalised later tonight.
 
Czech-Mate

27 Feb

A home run from catcher Aaron Stroman-Neemia catapulted the Black Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic in one of their final hit-outs before the Tradestaff ISF World Softball Championship begins on Friday.

With Heinie Shannon starting at pitcher, the NZ men’s team took a four-run lead at the top of the fourth innings, thanks largely to Stroman-Neemia’s deep hit that sent the ball and the Czech left-fielder over the Simpson Park fence in spectacular fashion.
 
Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase brought on rookie NickHayes to replace Shannon, and then introduced veteran utility Jarrad Martin midway through the fifth innings.

Martin conceded a three-run home run to let the excited Czechs back into the contest, but then closed them out over the final two innings.
 
“Jarrad has become an option for us,” says Kohlhase. “Coming into the rotation, it was very important we give him game time.
 
“He wouldn’t have been happy to give up that home run and neither were we, but it’s a matter of short-term pain, long-term gain. He came back well to finish them off.
 
At this stage, he’s just another option.” Veteran Nathan Nukunuku, recalled to the roster this week, started at second base and immediately impressed with his base-running speed to score one of New Zealand’s runs.
 
“Nathan looked pretty good out there,” says Kohlhase. “He was unlucky to miss out in the first place and has taken this opportunity with both hands.”
 
In fact, that was the theme of the day – the ability to seize chances when they occur. Kohlhase feels his team is creating opportunities, but still needs to get better at capitalising on them before the world tournament.
 
They have one more chance to hone that mentality, when they take on South Africa at Phyllis St Reserve, Mt Albert, 1pm today.
 
Nukunuku replaces Haretuku

25 Feb

Two-time world champion Nathan Nukunuku has been called into the Black Sox as a late replacement for the ISF Tradestaff World Softball Championship, starting this week.

Unlucky to miss original selection in December, Nukunuku has been included as injury cover for injured captain Rhys Casley and will replace rookie Jerome Haretuku on the 17-man roster.

Second baseman Casley has been battling for fitness since shoulder surgery late last year and aggravated his injury during last week's Dean Schick Tournament at the Rosedale Park world tournament venue.

While he seems capable of fulfilling his duties with the bat, his ability to operate at 100% in the field is questionable and Nukunuku has been recalled to cover that contingency.

"Rhys is an integral member of this Black Sox side, and is our leader on and off the diamond," says coach Eddie Kohlhase. "It's imperative we continue to work with him before and during the world championship to maximise his contribution on the diamond.

"He can still hit and we plan to use him as required during the tournament, but to cover the possible loss of a specialist infielder, we've added Nathan to the group."

Unfortunately, outfielder Haretuku, in his first world championship campaign, has drawn the short straw to make way for Nukunuku.

"Rhys' injury has changed the dynamic of our team and we were forced to make a difficult decision that would cost someone their place through no fault of their own," says Kohlhase.

"Jerome has worked hard for his chance, and we certainly cannot fault his dedication and contribution to the team. I know he's disappointed, but I also know he's young enough to help us win world titles for a while to come."

The Black Sox spent last week in a remote Northland location and have now re-assembled for the world championship in Auckland. They are scheduled to practice at White Park, Papatoetoe at 5pm today and will play Czech Republic in a warm-up game at Simpson Park Penrose, at 2pm tomorrow.

Kohlhase will be available on teleconference at 2pm today. Please RSVP to Grant Chapman by return email or phone 027 687 5373.
 

Plenty to ponder for Black Sox

19 Feb

This wasn’t how Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase envisaged his team’s participation at the Dean Schick Tournament ending.
 
Walking off the No 2 diamond at Rosedale Park, having just lost the plate final 5-6 to Auckland club side Ramblers – their second loss to these opponents over the weekend – he could hear the softball fraternity wondering.
 
This was the national team’s third loss in as many days – they also fell to Hutt Valley Dodgers on Saturday to tumble out of tournament contention.
 
“If I was on the sidelines, I’d be thinking things don’t look great too,” admitted Kohlhase. “Three losses to club teams are not what you expect of a national side.
 
“But it really has been a valuable opportunity to learn about ourselves. We’re not going to roll over teams – we’re always going to be in a dogfight.
 
“And we understand now that every team we play against are to going to raise their games because we are the Black Sox.”
 
During their nine-day camp, the players had put in some hard yards, training two – sometimes three – times a day. It’s necessary as part of the build-up to next month’s Tradestaff World Softball Championship, but it doesn’t always allow the players to produce their best on the diamond as well.
 
The pitching rotation is a work in progress and US-based Jeremy Manley – a key part of that line-up – is still working his way back to full fitness after recent surgery.
 
But Kohlhase hoped the critics will lay off his team until they see the finished product.
 
“We really need the softball community of Auckland and New Zealand to get behind us, and I believe we’ll have that support.
 
“This is a great team – most of these guys here have won world titles before and know what it takes to get up for the heavyweight fight.
 
“We just have to tick off this part of our preparation and move on to the next.”
 
The Black Sox have now disbanded for a couple of days, but a due to reconvene on Tuesday, when they’ll head north of Auckland for some “alone time”.
 
The Tradestaff World Softball Championship runs from March 1-10, with New Zealand facing Mexico in their pool opener on Day One.
 
The Black Sox roster is Tyron Bartorillo (Canterbury), Tyson Byrne (Hutt Valley), Rhys Casley (Hutt Valley), Ben Enoka (Auckland), Donny Hale (Auckland), Jerome Haretuku (Auckland), Nic Hayes (Hutt Valley), Penese Iosefo (Canterbury), Wayne Laulu (Wellington), Thomas Makea (Wellington), Jeremy Manley (US), Jarrad Martin (Wellington), Daniel Milne (Canterbury), Brad Rona (North Harbour), Heinie Shannon (Auckland), Patrick Shannon (Auckland), Aaron Stroman-Neemia
(Wellington)

 
Casley confirmed for Black Sox

12 Feb

Black Sox captain Rhys Casley has been cleared to lead his team into next month's Tradestaff World Softball Championship in Auckland.

With several players selected injured in December, coach Eddie Kohlahse set last weekend as the deadline for them to prove their readiness for the tournament at Rosedale Park and Casley was the last to achieve that goal.

After undergoing shoulder surgery last September, his road back to full fitness has been a slow and worrisome one, but with three weeks until the world event, he's showed he's almost there with performances at the recent Vic Guth and Brother Patrick tournaments.

Playing as a designated hitter for his Dodgers club, Casley was named batter of the tournament at the Guth event last month and was again in action for the national side over the weekend, even taking the field for an innings.

"The ball never came my way, but it was pretty exciting to be back out there," he said. "You forget how much you love the game when you're away from it."

Kohlhase is thrilled to have his skipper confirmed, although there is still some ground to make up before he's operating at 100%. That will be one of the goals for the team during this week's camp in Auckland.

"The shoulder has responded outstandingly, really," says the coach.
"It's a credit to Rhys that he's able to play.

"He hit every game on the weekend and played a bit in the field, so we're really confident."

The entire roster got a good hit-out at the weekend's tournament, winning three games against club opponents and losing a close one to Samoa in their first international outing.

"It was a step up from what we'd faced before and it highlighted some significant work-ons," observed Kohlhase.

"We got behind in the game and key learning was the need to be prepared from the first pitch. We were down 3-0 early and in any international game, that's difficult to come back from."

But Kohlhase took heart from the form of his elder statesman - Jarrad Martin, Thomas Maeka and Brad Rona - and the improved pitch of Hutt Valley hurler Nik Hayes, who produced a one-hit performance for an all-star team against Samoa later in the programme.

"Our senior guys showed they are in great nick and really leading from the front," said Kohlhase. "As a coach, that's all you can ask from them."

The Black Sox will continue their competitive preparation for the world championships with another event - the Dean Schick Tournament at Rosedale Park - this weekend.

Black Sox players and coaches are available to the media through Grant Chapman, via return email or 027 687 5373. They are training at Victoria Park, 7am tomorrow, with another practice scheduled for later in the morning - please RSVP to confirm times.

 
Sox chalk one up to experience

After their first outing as a team, the Black Sox  were left to reflect on lessons (hopefully) learnt during a 1-3 defeat at the hands of an Auckland United All-Star selection.

Tacked on the end of the annual Vic Guth Tournament, the outing was a way for the national team to respect the event’s 50th instalment, as well as squeeze in some much-needed match practice together.

But the scratch combination selected by organisers was always on top of the national side, collecting runs off all three pitchers – Heinie Shannon, Penese Iosefo and Nik Hayes – used over the five innings played.

It could have looked worse on the scoreboard – a fourth run was disallowed, after the base runner failed to tag third on the way home.

But the lessons did not end with the score line. On that same play, Black Sox reserve Nathan Nukunuku slid aggressively into second, taking out short stop Tyson Byrne and clearing the dugouts in the process.

“Nathan paid us the ultimate compliment with his approach,” reflected coach Eddie Kohlhase afterwards. “That’s how teams will play against us at the world championships.

“That was one of the best things we took out of this game – the understanding that we can’t take a backward step.

“In terms of combinations, it was the first time out on the park, we were a little bit rusty, we missed a couple of cut plays and our pitching can only improve.

“My message was you don’t win a world championship on January 28. Our aim is to be ready by March 1.”

Kohlhase took a fairly conservative approach to the encounter, keeping many of his veterans on the sidelines for most of the game. Donny Hale was unavailable, captain Rhys Casley and fourth pitcher Jeremy Manley – both returning from injury – took no part (although Casley led the charge onto the diamond after Nukunuku’s slide), while Thomas Makea was only used as a pinch hitter at the death.

Fatigue also played a part. All the Black Sox roster, including Casley and Manley, had just completed a full weekend of tournament play, and Shannon and Iosefo had just pitched the final, won 4-1 in extra innings by the latter’s Northcote outfit.

“There were a whole lot of guys who had played seven or eight games, but we told them we had to replicate a world tournament, and we just had to get out there and play,” said Kohlhase. “But it was the same for the other team.

“We have to work on our pitching accuracy, our fielding wasn’t too bad and we haven’t even started working on our running game. There were probably one or two situations where we would have done some things differently, but those are good things to work on.”

From a wider perspective, the weekend had been a success for individual team members, as Brad Rona led Northcote to victory with a two-run homer and MVP honours for the tournament.

Casley, still battling back to full fitness after shoulder surgery, was able to swing sufficiently to finish as top batter, averaging 0.538.

That pair, plus Tyrone Bartorillo, Daniel Milne and Ben Enoka, were named on the tournament team.

The Black Sox next assemble to contest the Brother Patrick Tournament in Auckland from 8-10 February.
 
Black Sox face All-Stars

- 25 Jan

Black Sox face All-Stars in first outing For the Black Sox, it will be their first competitive outing on the road to the Tradestaff ISF World Softball Championship in March. For some of their players – especially captain Rhys Casley – it looms as a chance to ease some of the injury concerns around the roster just over a month out from the first pitch. This weekend’s Vic Guth Tournament in Auckland will see all of the national men’s roster in action for club teams. But on Monday afternoon, the squad will also come together for their first game, as the Black Sox take on an Auckland United All-Stars side. “This is the 50th anniversary of the United club, one of the very special clubs in Auckland and one of the special tournaments, so we’ll help honour that occasion by playing an exhibition game as the national team,” says coach Eddie Kohlhase. “But it’s also a chance for us to start putting our combinations together under game conditions.” For Casley, who badly injured a shoulder last year and needed major surgery, this could be an important step towards passing fit to play at the world tournament. Two weeks ago, at the team’s first training camp at his home club, the Hutt Valley infielder was out on the diamond, working hard on footwork and fielding skills, but still under-arming his throws. He’s obviously itching to get back into action, but can’t afford to push things too quickly. Kohlhase has given his walking wounded until the first week of February to prove their readiness. Veteran infielder Jarrad Martin has already achieved that, fully recovered from a serious calf injury that jeopardised his participation in a fifth world championship. But there are still a couple of others awaiting clearance. US-based pitcher Jeremy Manley arrives in New Zealand today after minor knee surgery and is expected to get a full workout over the weekend. Casley, though, has the most to gain from his participation. “Obviously, he’s a key part of our team, not just as captain, but also as the second baseman in our defence,” says Kohlhase. “He’s made good progress to the point he can now lift a bat. “As long as he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, we're hopeful he will prove his fitness and we’ll certainly give him every opportunity to do that.” The game against the Auckland United All-Stars will take place at Fowlds Park, Mt Albert, at 2.45pm Monday.

Rhys Casley (David Lintott)
 
Testing start to Black Sox championship schedule

23 Jan

The NZ Black Sox will open their bid to regain the world softball title against Mexico on March 1 at Rosedale Park, Auckland.
After losing their crown to Australian four years ago, New Zealand will have home advantage for the Tradestaff ISF World Softball Championship, but face a tough draw that pits them against four-time champions Canada in pool play, along with Japan, Argentina, Philippines, Mexico, Colombia and the Netherlands.
“It’s a very, very demanding draw,” says Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase. “Canada, Japan and Argentina are three of the big powers in world softball.
“It’s a tough draw, not just in terms of qualifying for the quarterfinals, but also building up some powerful momentum going forward. It will be a real test for us.
“It’s a really early and quite exciting challenge.”
Canada have been New Zealand’s traditional rivals at the tournament. Like the Kiwis, they have taken the crown four times, last winning in 1992, when they beat the Black Sox in the final.
But they also lost to the Kiwis at the final stages in 1996 and 2004.  
“They’re always a very tough team to play,” says Kohlhase. “They have powerful pitching – they throw the ball very hard – and like most Canadian sports teams, they try to dominate you physically.”
Japan was the other team New Zealand had to overcome on the way to their 1996-2004 championship “three-peat”. They beat the crafty Asians 2-1 in the 2000 title game at East London, South Africa.
“Their current coach was the pitcher in that final,” says Kohlhase. “They’re a very fast team - Japan are beautiful fielders of the ball and quite electric on the base paths.
“They have a lot of lefties, and have very strong pitching and hitting – they’ll be a real test.”
Argentina are one of the emerging powers in world softball and took out the junior world title at home last year, where New Zealand finished sixth.
“They’re like their rugby teams and soccer teams,” observes Kohlhase. “They’re fantastic at home and if they can just get their game together abroad …
“Argentina are a strong softballing nation. They have a couple of outstanding pitchers on the North American circuit and like Japan, have a lot of lefties.”
Elsewhere in the pool, the Philippines and Netherlands have considerable experience to draw upon at this level, and can be counted on to make the top sides work for their wins, says Kohlhase.
Sixteen teams have been divided into two pools of eight for the championship, with the top four progressing to quarterfinals. The other pool is headed by titleholders Australia and four-time champions the United States.
As hosts, the Black Sox have been allocated the prime time slots each day – 7.30pm during the week and 2.30pm on weekend, from March 1-10.
For further draw information, check out www.softball2013.com.
Black Sox name 3 non-travelling reserves

18 Jan

The Black Sox have added three non-travelling reserves for the ISF World Championships in March.
Currently carrying a squad of 17 players, coach Eddie Kohlhase has named infielder Nathan Nukunuku (Auckland), outfielder Campbell Makea (Wellington) and pitcher Karl Gollan (Auckland) as back-ups.

Veteran Nukunuku was one of the controversial omissions from the original selection, having represented New Zealand since 1997 and attended two previous world tournaments.

Makea was also desperately unlucky to miss out, effectively losing his spot when coaches opted to include a fourth pitcher instead of another outfielder.

Gollan made his first appearance for New Zealand in 2004.

The full Black Sox roster is:
Pitchers – Penese Iosefo (Canterbury), Heinrick Shannon (Auckland), Nik Hayes (Hutt Valley), Jeremy Manley (US)
Catchers – Patrick Shannon (Auckland), Aaron Stroman-Neemia (Wellington)
Infielders – Brad Rona (North Harbour), Rhys Casley (Hutt Valley), Tyson Byrne (Hutt Valley), Tyrone Bartorillo (Canterbury), Daniel Milne (Canterbury)
Outfielders – Jerome Haretuku (Auckland), Ben Enoka (Auckland), Thomas Makea (Wellington), Wayne Laulu (Wellington), Donny Hale (Auckland), Jarrad Martin (Wellington)
Reserves – Nathan Nukunuku (Auckland), Campbell Makea (Wellington), Karl Gollan (Wellington)

 
Enoka tops the Black Sox tests

16 Jan
Auckland outfielder Ben Enoka is the “fittest” of the world championship-bound Black Sox – but his team-mates are snapping his heels.
Last weekend, the New Zealand men’s softball team completed their final round of physical testing before the March world tournament at Auckland’s Rosedale Park.
“The boys are definitely trending in the right direction and there were a couple of standout performers,” says Wellington-based strength and conditioning coach Jamie Tout. “We test them against speed, power, core strength, endurance and repeated speed ability.
black sox outfielders ben enoka and jerome haretuku N2
“Ben was the No 1 performer across those disciplines and he’s continued to improve, not just personally, but against the benchmarks that were set.”
The tests included standing long jump, the “yo-yo” for intermittent/speed endurance, and pure speed over 10m and 20m. Auckland’s Enoka was best over the sprints, with Auckland outfielder Jerome Haretuku close behind.
Hutt Valley infielder Tyson Byrne was next and also recorded the standing long jump. All three excelled in the yo-yo, with Enoka just ahead with a score of over level 19.
“A lot of sports use the yo-yo and to some degree, it’s probably more relevant in others,” says Tout. “In softball, we’re more focused on the speed and power of an athlete, because they’re often only sprinting 10-20 metres at a time, with longer recoveries.
“That said, we set our guys a goal to achieve and a lot of them are heading in that direction now. Some went over level 19 for the first time, which is a really great result, but ultimately in softball, you can’t beat speed.
Enoka also clocked 1.52s and 2.67s respectively in the speed tests, but had to withstand a determined challenge from Haretuku, who attempted an extra 20m trial in a bid to knock off the champ.
“Not much needs to change from here on in,” says Tout. “A lot of guys just need to maintain their level of fitness now – we can only make them so fit.
“My job is to get them fit enough so they don’t fatigue to the point that their skills are compromised.”
 
Martin brings experience to Black Sox title bid
15 Jan 2013

Martin brings experience to Black Sox title bid

Black Sox veteran Jarrad Martin knows what it takes to win a world softball title – he’s helped win three.

He also knows what it’s like to lose one and now hopes to learn how to win one back.

That depth of experience – both good and bad – will be the key contribution Martin can make to the current campaign, as the NZ men try to win back the crown they lost to Australia in 2009.

When the Sox line up at Rosedale Park in March, the Taranaki utility, who commutes to play his club softball in Wellington, will join fellow old-timer Thomas Makea at their fifth world tournament.

Two others – Brad Rona and Donny Hale – will attend their fourth and while their physical skills may be waning ever so slightly, their “been there, done that” mentality cannot be replaced.

Coach Eddie Kohlhase has hinted his senior membership will be setting the tone in the dugout and would be upon at key moments.

“You’ve got a lot of guys here who can run and throw and stuff,” said Martin (39), looking around the room at last weekend’s camp in Lower Hutt. “I can do that, but I might be used in different ways.

“In a tournament like this, there will be a couple of instances, where something that I can contribute to the team could be something big. That’s what I’m looking at as part of my role – just making sure the team gets on that train and all the wheels are in sync and going forward together.

“I want to play every game and I’m going to do my darnedest to put my hand up, but if these other guys put their hand up and get the call first, then that’s sport. It doesn’t matter who we have out there – whatever nine, 10, 11 players are injected into the game – I just have to give them my support.”

With pitching coach Chubb Tangaroa absent from the weekend’s camp in the Hutt Valley and Martin still nursing an Achilles niggle back to health, he spent a bit of time conspiring with the hurlers, another role he’s been called on to fill on occasion during his career.

The injury had raised some doubts about Martin’s ability to contest the world series, but he insists he’s trucking along well towards a full recovery.

“Personally, I’m feeling good. If you had asked me six months ago, I was probably neither here nor there, but it’s getting stronger – it’s probably the rest of the body that needs to catch up now.”

And he’s encouraged by what he sees around him.

“It’s been good, for our first weekend together training,” he says. “We’re getting there – it’s just a matter of spending more time with each other, getting used to living out of each other’s pockets and making sure we all have that common vision of hoisting that trophy at the end.”

The Black Sox build-up continues next week, when the pitchers and catchers – the “battery” – travel to Napier next weekend for a mini-camp with Tangaroa.


 
Daniel Milne story...
30 Dec 2012

UNFINISHED BUSINESS from the last world championships in Saskatoon haunts Canterbury softballer Daniel Milne.
Although he's been playing for New Zealand since 1999 and is a veteran of 51 tests and many other international matches, that was his first world tournament.

After winning the previous three world championships, the Black Sox were ambushed and beaten 5-0 by Australia in the 2009 final. Milne, 34, has been given a chance to help put that right with his selection in the team for the next world series at North Harbour in March.

``I don't like those over the ditch winning, and I had a few sleepless nights after that tournament in '09,'' says Milne, who played left field in the final. ``I woke up in a couple of cold sweats. Hopefully this season we've got the right mix to win --  we've got a good mix with young and old players and good pitchers.''

Milne has been selected as an infielder for the 2013 worlds and expects to be used as second base, first base, short stop, or outfield. ``I like to keep all my bases open,'' he said.

Milne, from an Invercargill softball family where his father and mother were closely involved, began in tee-ball at four. He came to Christchurch as a 17-year-old to improve his softball with the goal of making the Black Sox. Still in his teens, he was selected in 1999 for New Zealand's tour of Australia, and has been in and out of the national team  since -- although he missed selection for two world championships including the 2005 series in Christchurch before earning a trip to Canada in 2009.

Canterbury's victory against the odds at the national provincial championship in Auckland this month may have cemented selection for Milne, Penese Iosefo, and Tyron Bartorillo, but Milne was not really happy with his form.
``I didn't really play that well for Canterbury, but it was definitely nice to win it -- it was my second New Zealand title for Canterbury,'' he said. ``It was a strange one -- I don't know if the team was selected before it.''

Milne's skills have been sharpened by many seasons playing in the US in the off-season. His first in 1997 was for a Wisconsin team, Circle Tap, and then he had five seasons with Spirit, an upstate New York team based in Amsterdam, and five with New York city team Patsy's. He played in national tournament finals in the US and was named in an ISC All-World team.

However, he's unlikely to be seen on the American scene again. He  has a painting business, Milne and Delatour, in partnership with PCU clubmate and former Back Sox player Paul Delatour. EQC work is keeping them very busy -- although Delatour will have to shoulder it alone for a month or so when the worlds are on and in the build up.
You wouldn't find an All Black or Black Cap babyminding while they are playing, but Milne frequently does. He and his wife Nicola, a former Canterbury player who turns out  for PCU's big rivals Albion, have a 5-year-old son, Austin, who is already playing tee-ball.

With his parents' matches often on at the same time at different parks, it's usually dad who babyminds. ``Nine times out of 10 he's with me -- I've got lollies in the dugout,'' he said.
 
Black Sox World Championship Team Head into Camp
14 Dec 2012

When the Black Sox world championship softball team assemble in Auckland this weekend for the first time, coach Eddie Kohlhase doesn’t expect he’ll need to do too much talking.

Having named the 17 players expected to win back the world title on home turf next March, Kohlhase will look to his veterans to set a tone for the upcoming campaign.

And experience is something this group has plenty of. The roster includes two players – Thomas Makea and Jarrad Martin – who have been to four previous tournaments, while two others – Brad Rona and Donny Hale – have contested three.

All have been part of Black Sox world championship dynasty through the late-90s/ 2000s, but were on deck when they were toppled by archrivals Australia in the 2009 final.“Attending five championships is obviously a great achievement and means they’re fantastic athletes,” says Kohlhase. “It’s a real testament to their durability and the way they conduct themselves.

“These are the guys who will set the culture for our team,” says Kohlhase, “It’ll be the first time some of them will go to a world championships NOT as defending champions, so it’ll be interesting to see what their attitude will be.

“They’ll have roles within the team. They won’t be on the diamond every single game, but they certainly add real experience to the bench and know that international environment.”

This gathering won’t involve too much on-diamond training – it’s more about laying a platform and ensuring everyone, including partners, understand the team culture going forward.

“The selection process has been very difficult and there are obviously some very good players that didn’t make the final selection,” says Kohlhase. “But we’re very happy with the 17 we’ve selected.

“We believe we’ve picked a team to win it. We’ve got a lot of speed and power, and a lot of youth and experience.

“If we can mould that all together with the team operating as one, we’ll be very hard to beat.”

The team assembling in Auckland this weekend is:

Heinie Shannon, Patrick Shannon, Donny Hale, Ben Enoka, Jerome Haretuku (all Auckland), Penese Iosefo, Tyron Bartorillo, Daniel Milne (all Canterbury), captain Rhys Casley, Nick Hayes, Tyson Byrne (all Hutt Valley), Aaron Stroman-Neemia, Wayne Laulu, Thomas Makea, Jarrad Martin (all Wellington), Brad Rona (North Harbour), Jeremy Manley (USA-based).

Coach: Eddie Kohlhase, Assistant coach: Dave Workman, Pitching coach: Chubb Tangaroa, Manager: Carl Gould
Black Sox on right track to regain title
19/11/2012

Coach Eddie Kohlhase believes the Black Sox are on the right path as they try to regain their world softball title at next year's championships in Auckland.

"We have been working hard for the past couple of years to get to where we want to be," he said.

Several contenders for the world championships team were in the capital at the weekend as part of the local association's 75th jubilee celebrations and played an invitation Wellington team on Saturday at Hataitai Park.
The Black Sox team won both games with ease. More importantly for Kohlhase, it was an opportunity for the national players to get some game time together.

Among those who would be pleased with their performances on Saturday were Aaron Neemia, Wayne Laulu, Dan Taipari, Tyson Barterillo, Campbell Makea and Tyson Byrne, who all picked up multiple hits in the two games. Defensively, the players also showed their class, with the Wellington selection finding their chances limited.
"It's all about getting some time on the diamond together and against some good opposition," Kohlhase said.

"There was some excellent base running. We showed our running game. For us, it is about our running game and we showed that."

"You also need to remember there are some players to come back," he said.

Those players include squad members Thomas Makea, Jarrad Martin and Patrick Shannon.

All three are veterans of world championships and considered among the world's best players in their positions.
The world championships team will be named after the National Fastpitch Championship tournament at North Shore's Rosedale Park from December 6-9. Team members will have several camps.

They will also play in two major club tournaments - the Brother Patrick and Dean Schick tournaments in Auckland - ahead of the world championships at Rosedale Park from March 1-10.

"There are places up for grabs, obviously, but we do have a core of players," Kohlhase said.
New Zealand lost their world title crown to Australia in 2009.
 
Upper South Island Invitation Impress
15/11/2012

The Upper South Island (USI) team impressed at Saxton Ballpark yesterday, holding the Black Sox to a tight 4-1 score line with the Black Sox coming out on top.

In front of a large crowd, the home squad were aggressive with the bat and in the field, tying up the score line until the top of the fourth.
Co-coach Daryl Stratford applauded the team, as well as the individual flair of many players, especially Kurt Schollum who pitched for both sides.


Black Sox hurler Nik Hayes arrived into Nelson later than expected due to a delayed international flight. Because Schollum toured with the national side earlier this year and is considered part of the wider Black Sox camp, he was transferred across the diamond, pitching three innings for the Black Sox and three for the USI team. He took six strike outs in total.


Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase praised the 17-year-old’s prowess and has acquired him for tomorrow night’s re-match.
“It was a great game of softball. It was very clinical and the skill level was high,” Kohlhase said. “The last time our squad played together was July and this match was about re-acquainting ourselves and working on combinations. The Nelson side understood this game was as much for us as it was for them.”
The home side was aggressive on defence, making the first out of the game a Nigel Kelly double play. Derryn French followed up with a routine shortstop-third out. Unfortunately it was three up, three down in the batter’s box for USI.

The Black Sox scored their first run in the top of the second. Jerome Haretuku drove the ball to centre field and was scored by Dan Tarapi who hit to the fence.
USI were able to reply in the third after Vincent Whittington earned one of two walks in the game and was advanced to second through a sacrifice drive to second base from French. Damien Dolejs returned the ball hard and fast to the pitcher at his turn to bat. With the ball bouncing off the pitcher’s glove and out into right field, Whittington was able to come home and tie up the game at 1-all.

USI pitcher Brandon Peck had kept the game tight, striking out two Black Sox, but was made to work in the fourth innings with Aaron Neemia and Haretuku hitting 13 fouls between them. Neemia eventually got the ball in park, hitting to centre field for a three-bagger. Haretuku hit the ball out of the park and scored them both on an automatic home run.

A miss-throw for a tag at third in the fifth innings saw Tyrone Bartorillo bring in the fourth run for the Black Sox.


Both teams were effectively shut down in the last three innings once Schollum returned to his USI squad and Marlborough-born Hayes took the mound for the national side.

Hayes struck out seven of ten USI batters. And, aside from the run in the fifth, it was three up, three down in each innings for the Black Sox. Schollum took two strike outs with USI, and as well as several routine outs there was a successful Kelly-instigated run down on Tyson Byrne double play.

USI team captain French said the game was a great opportunity for many of the young players, who all proved themselves against the best the country has to offer. Himself, Peck and Daniel Mallabar have been picked for the Southern Pride team, and Luke Bowers is a step closer to forcing his way into the Pride team, he said.

The Black Sox are due to play another game against a Nelson Selection at 5.30pm tonight.



 
Black Sox Internal Tour Itinerary

Nelson 14th November

- 12.00pm – 12.45pm: Clifton Tce School

- 1.15pm – 2.15pm: Waimea College Softball

- 1.15pm – 2.15pm: Nelson College Softball

- 3.15pm: Meet the kids / fans (Saxton Field)

- 5.30pm: Exhibition Game against Upper South Island Selection

Nelson 15th November

10.00am – 11.00am: Broadgreen Intermediate Softball

11.15am – 12.15pm: Nelson Intermediate Softball

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Waimea Intermediate Softball

5.30pm: Exhibition Game against Nelson Softball Selection

Wellington 16th November

- WSA 75th Dinner

Wellington 17th November

- Black Sox arrive to interact with players and coaches etc. Signed posters and balls to give away.

- 1.00pm: Black Sox vs. local selection

- 3.15pm: Celebrity game slow pitch
Sandra Edge (silver ferns), Ken Laban (rugby league, TV) , Dave Smart (classic hits) Mark Sorenson (softball) Kate Horan (para olympics & world champion) Robyn Wong  (Olympics & commonwealth games mountain biker) Glen Roff (Softball NZ) Richard Watt (Hurricanes) Phil Gibbons (CEO Sport Wgtn) Chris Middleton (Waikato Rugby Lock) Earl Va’a (Western Samoan WC Rugby) T.J Perenara (Hurricanes) Mark Reddish (Hurricanes) Phil Gibbons (CEO Sport Wgtn) Katrina Grant (Pulse) Ross Bond (Rugby Commentator) 

- 4.15pm: Cake cutting and speeches etc

- 5.00pm: Black Sox vs. local selection

Hastings 18th November

- 4.00pm: Black Sox vs. Hawkes Bay NFC team

- 6.00pm: Black Sox vs. Hawkes Bay NFC team
 

Hastings 19th November

- 8.00am: Mayoral reception hosted by Lawrence Yule, Hastings District Council Mayor

- 9.30am – 10.45am: Coaching Clinics at Akina Park for Primary School

North Shore 19th November

Schools Festival Day

- Launch of schools programme, Junior World Softball Championships and SNZ schools resources, and delivery of fun activities

North Shore 20th November

- AM: Attend schools involved in KiwiSport initiatives

- PM: Exhibition match Black Sox v local selection

North Shore 21st November

Black Sox Activity

- AM: Jump off the sky tower/bungy jump, media opportunity

Black Sox Team: Nik Hayes, Arron Neemia, Campbell Makea, Tyrone Bartorillo, Tyson Byrne, Dan Tarpari, Jerome Haretuku, Ben Enoka, Wayne Laulu, Rhys Casley. Additional local Black Sox players will be included at various locations on the tour.

 
Black Sox Internal Tour Ready to Commence
12/11/2012

Taking it easy will be the last thing on the minds of the Black Sox players selected for the “Get on the Bus” road trip. The tour begins on in Nelson and then travels to Wellington before heading to the Hawke’s Bay . The last leg of the trip is at the world championship venue
 
For the tour Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase has opted to include several younger members of his squad with world championship hopeful Nick Hayes one who will be wanting to make the most of his chances after his late call-up to the Black Sox for their North American tour earlier this year. Hayes will be sharing the pitching duties during the tour with another world championship rookie Penese Iosefa.
 
On the bus but expected to take a limited role in the road trip is Black Sox captain Rhys Casley, who  underwent shoulder surgery last week.

The tour starts in Nelson on Wednesday and then two days later the side arrives in Wellington where they will be based for the weekend and take part in a number of activities planned as part of that association’s 75th jubilee celebrations.  In Wellington the side will play against a Wellington Selection team which will include a number of Black Sox squad members.
 
The next stop for the tourists is in Hawke’s Bay where they will on Sunday play two games and then on Monday visit a number of schools in the area.
 
The team is then scheduled to arrive in North Shore on November 20 and will visit a number of schools before playing games, including an evening match at the world championship venue, Rosedale Park.
 
The following day the players will be involved in a number of training and coaching sessions at schools on the North Shore.
 
Black Sox Internal Tour
26/09/2012
 
Nelson will be the starting point of the Black Sox Internal Tour as the team heads toward next year’s world softball championships which will be held at Rosedale Park on the North Shore.
The side, ranked number two in the world after relinquishing their crown to Australia at the 2009 tournament, begin their trek in Nelson when they assemble there on November 13. The following day they will play games giving local supporters an opportunity to come and watch them.
get-on-the-bus-nz-web
The trek north includes a two day stop in Nelson from November 14-15 where the team will play games and visit a number of schools in that area.

On November 16 the players will be in Wellington and will be involved in that Association’s 75th jubilee celebration which includes a dinner on that evening at which coach Eddie Kohlhase is a guest speaker. On the Saturday the team will make visits to venues involving junior games and then will play two games, including an evening match-up.

On Sunday the team head to Hawke’s Bay and will again play two games and the following day visit schools in the region.

The team is then scheduled to arrive in North Shore on November 20 and will visit schools in the region before playing games, including one in the evening.

The following day the players will conduct a number of training and coaching sessions at a number of schools on the North Shore before the players return to their home base.

For the team it is important that they reach out to their fan base ahead of next year’s world championship with the players looking at regaining their crown. It is the first time since 1996 tournament that the side will have gone into the world championship as the number 2 team in the competition. The team of 1996 won that tournament and then went on to win the events in 2000 and 2004, which was in Christchurch, before Australia beat them at the 2009 event in Saskatoon, Canada.
 
More information regarding the events and activities will be released shortly.


Get on the Bus NZ
Get on the Bus NZ and support your team bring home gold in North Harbour. The team needs your support as it hunts its sixth world crown on New Zealand soil.

Keep an eye out for our soon to be released message of support video competition.
 
NZ Black Sox Players in Action
 20/08/2012

Black Sox softball international Donny Hale has been named the most valuable player at the International Softball Congress tournament which finished in yesterday (subs SUN) in Midland, Michigan.
Hale’s role was instrumental in his North American club side Broken Bow Travelers (Jarvis, Ontario) winning their third consecutive ISC title. The side beat Hill United Chiefs (Ontario) 8-6 in the final which needed an extra innings. He  finished the tournament with 11 hits from his 19 turns at bat for an average of .579 and batted in 17 runs, which is a tournament record.
 
Hale was not the only New Zealander in the Travelers line-up with his former international team-mate  Brad Rona, who also hit a home run in the final, Ben Enkoa and Tyron Bartorillo in the side.
Hale, Rona and Patrick Shannon (who was playing for the New York Gremlins side), were named in the tournament team.
 
Black Sox tour of North America News

NY Gremilins beat Black Zox 3-1 - 02/07/2012
The New York Gremilins have beaten the New Zealand Black Sox 3-1 in the final of the Peligro tournament.
 
Black Sox – Peligro Tournament
01/07/2012

On Friday night the team played the team from the Dominican Republic, and this was a good test of where we are at.  Penese Iosefa started the game on the mound and was hit for a home run on the 2nd pitch, this looked like repeats of our earlier games on tour where we would be chasing big runs conceded in the early innings.  The Dominicans did score one more run in the first from two further hits. Penese then showed great courage and composure and pitched a further 6 scoreless innings.

Patrick Shannon did his normal superman act and hit a home run with 2 runners on base in the bottom of the first.  We scored one more with a Wayne Laulu home run in the 4th innings. Good start 4-2 victory.

Saturday saw the arrival of Jeremy Manley to the touring party and he was given the ball against Swashbucklers (a team based in California). He started a little rough, walked the first hitter, threw one in the back of the net, struck out the 2nd hitter, hit the next batter and walked the next, so loaded bags one out.  Jeremy struck out next two hitters with basically low rise balls they didn't touch, too fast and real great movement.

He faced another 15 hitters and stuck them all out, by the end of the game he was getting stronger and had complete control of every pitch, this is the first time I have seen him pitch and he reminds me of Stephen Schultz, tonnes of speed with nice rotation on his drop and rise ball. The hitters did the job and scored 5 runs for 5-0 victory.

At 7pm tonight we had the Padres which is an All Star team from Venezuela, they had picked up a Canadian pitcher who pitches for the Great Britain national team, we started Nik Hayes on the mound, his first start this tour.  He was a little erratic early on and gave up a walk and they got two runners on 1st & 3rd base.  He struck one guy out and the next hit a ground ball to Bartorillo at shortstop who turned the standard 6/4/3 double play to retire the side without giving up a run.

He pitched well for 4 more innings before being replaced by Kurt Schollum the 18 year old rookie,  he came in and completed 2 good innings on the mound.  With Nik at 23 years and Kurt being the youngster of the pitchers this tour has uncovered real talent that will allow the Black Sox to develop its depth in the pitching department.  The selectors have been given something to think about by both of these young men.

The hitting was exceptional and we won 9-2, stand out performers with the bat were, Patrick Shannon, Nathan Nukunuku, Thomas Makea and our captain Rhys Casley.

Tomorrow brings finals day and the end of our tour, I hope to be writing about a tournament victory tomorrow night.

Regards Carl Gould

 
Black Sox travel to Pennsylvania
29/06/2012
 
In 1976 the ISF World Series was held in Hutt Valley, leading the US bid was their legendary pitcher Ty Stofflet, this Superman was able to pitch the ball at over 100 miles/hour, not km/hr, so the story goes.  The only man to seriously challenge for the title of best pitcher in the world was our own Kevin Hurlihy.

So Ty was asked to throw the first pitch at our game at Patriots Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to speak to the great man and watch him relive memories from the marathon game when he and Kevin battled for 20 innings, Kevin Hurlihy took 26 strike outs and gave up 4 hits, Ty Stofflet, took 32 strikeouts and gave up 2 hits, he pitched a perfect game until the 19th innings, he actually got the base hit that scored the single run of the game. He laughed hardest when he remembered the streaker and how the police were chasing the male streaker with blankets to cover him and how he looked like he was going to do himself a mischief trying to hurdle the fence.

So the game against the Pennsylvania Power we played 7 scoreless innings, had a couple of opportunities to score but didn't. Tane Richardson who has been struggling pitched 5 good innings, and at the end it ended up a nil all draw. 

You may have guessed that meeting Ty Stofflet will be something I will remember till the day I die, this particular game will soon fade and be gone, but to meet a living legend, absolutely bloody fantastic. 

The team has a well earned rest day tomorrow before we start the Peligro Tournament on Friday night, this is a real  test against top opposition.

Regards - Carl 
 
Black Sox Arrive in New York
28/06/2012
 
The NZ Black Sox have arrived in New York and what a culture shock in comparison to New Zealand, it was a battle getting the lads to drive the rental cars, none of the managers wanted to drive, must be age.

So we left for Stevens, got lost for an hour before buying a GPS for the lead van and we arrived in time for our game against the Pennsylvania Allstars.  The Black Sox hit first and scored two in the first with good short hitting from Bartorillo, Patrick Shannon, and Thomas Makea.

Kurt Schollum started on the mound and contained the locals with steady pitching.

For the next 5 innings the Black Sox scored runs in each turn at bat against average club level pitching and reached 13 runs on the score board while keeping the host scoreless.

Thomas Makea hit the only home run with two runners on base in the 4th innings.

The next couple of days will be less frantic than what we scheduled in Canada, but this was deliberate as the logistics in New York is around getting from point A to B.

We play the Power in Allentown tonight who will be a good test as they are ranked in the top 5 teams in the USA.

Black Sox Management
Carl Gold
Eddie Kohlhase
 
 
Legends Tournament Finals Day
25/06/2012

We were scheduled to play 3 games at 11, 1 and 3 pm if we continued to win on Sunday, the team started slowly in the first game but won 5-4 in tie breaker that is probably all that needs to be said.  Those of us who have played softball have all experienced a game when the team is flat, this was one of those games.
 
Game two was against New York, winners from the other bracket. The Black Sox team was on fire and lite up the Canadian national pitcher, scoring 3 runs in the first with home runs to  Rhys Casley and Patrick Shannon.  2 more runs were scored in the second innings with further good hitting from a number of players.  To make a long game short we won 10-3 in a shortened game with Rhys and Patrick hitting two automatics for the game, good pitching from Penese Iosefa and Karl Gollan. This is the most disciplined team I have ever been associated with, this is a new age of softball for those of us who played in a different era when socializing was the norm.
 
The Final was against Hill United Indians. We started Heinie Shannon on the mound and again the Indians got off to a flier, scoring 5 runs in the first with 3 home runs and 2 more solid hits.  So many teams would fold but not this team being 5-0 down.  The Black Sox came back with 2 runs in the 2nd innings, but the Indians responded with one of their own.  In the 4th, Adam Folkard the Australian national pitcher deliberately hit Tyron Bartorillo in the ribs, the Black Sox bench was not happy. This is the 4th time he has done this.  Tyron used to play for the Aussie national team and is now a committed BLACK SOX PLAYER.
 
Next Batter Rhys Casley hit an automatic off the first pitch not bad for a captains knock.  Two more runs and we are tied 6 all.
 
This was one of the best games of softball I have ever seen or been a part of, the Indians scored one more in the 6th and we got a runner on and then Thomas Makea hit a a line drive home run, which means it went low and flat and went out in a hurry.
 
So unfortunately as I have already stated we are struggling to finish off teams. This is no exception, no fairy tale where we win the one that counts. The Indians came back and hit a home run with a runner on and won 9-8.
 
So in fairness to the Indians who we have played 4 times this week they have beats us 4 from 4 by one run on each occasion, so they are the better team. But team sports is exciting because oh what a difference a day makes we will meet in New York next weekend and I believe the tide will turn.
 
Regards Carl Gould
 
Black Sox – Three games back to back to back
 25/06/2012

The Black Sox faced a tough challenge at the Legends Tournament in Kitchener in Canada, with three games back to back to back. Game 1 was against the Hill United team who had already beaten the Black Sox twice mid week and contain many Australian and Canadian international team players.  The game got off to a similar start with starting pitcher, Karl Gollan getting off to a rough start giving up two hits followed by a home run to put the Black Sox behind 3-0 in the first.

Gollan was replace in the 3rd innings with Nik Hayes who has demonstrated in his brief time in the team he is not out of place, he pitched well for 3 innings before tiring in the 6th and giving up 2 hits including a home run.

The Black Sox have shown on many occasions already that they don't lie down, they came back at Hill United with an exceptional display of power hitting with home runs to Rhys Casley, Patrick Shannon, Thomas Makea, Wayne Laulu and finally Jerome Haretuku.  The game went into the 7th innings with the Blck Sox leading Hill United 7-5.  Penese Iosefo was asked to take the ball and try to get the three vital outs that would give the Black Sox the victory, but every time these two teams have met this wasn't going to be regulation.  Hill United got two batters on base and the Black Sox got two outs and two strikes on the batter, this was the crucial moment of the game, the pitch, it was sent over the Centre field fence to take an 8-7 lead for Hil Utd.

As previously the Hill United immediately brought Adam Folkard into the game to close the game, This went to plan with three ground ball regulation outs.  The 800 fans witnessed a great game of softball, there was many positives for the Black Sox the ability to come back and get the lead, Nik Hayes 3 good innings which has him as a good relief pitcher at International level, the ability to score runs off quality pitching, but it did show we have a lack of pitching depth to finish of opposition.

Coach Eddie Kohlhase said, this was a great game and we did many, many positive things, but it also spoke volumes on our pitching depth, Jeremy Manley has been our #1 pitcher for the past 5 years and is a superior performer at this level.  Not having him here leaves us a little short to finish off opposition hitters, this tour is all about preparation for March 2013, we needed to know this, Nik Hayes is pushing hard for a permanent position.

Game Two against the Midland team kicked off at 6pm with a 20 minute break from the loss, the Black Sox bounced back with a disciplined 5-1 victory with Heinie Shannon performing well on the mound.

Game 3 against the Toronto Travellers started at 9.30 pm so a long day at the park for the Black Sox, again a fine display by all with a 7-1 victory, but as Coach Kohlhase pointed out to the team we demonstrated today an inability to finish off the opposition both in the field and with the bat, we should have scored one more run to win early and when up by two close the final innings.

Sunday is finals day the Black Sox finished 2nd in the section so have a long day at the ball park to win with games at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  The team is playing well and with well planned juggling of the pitchers is confident it can repeat by winning this tournament.
 
Regards – Carl Gould/Eddie Kohlhase
 
Kitchener Tournament starts
25/06/2012

The New Zealand Black Sox kicked off their bid to defend the Legends of Softball title they won this time last year in Kitchener, Canada.  At 9pm on Friday 22 June in front of 600 spectators we played the Midland team who are ranked in the top 5 teams in the USA and beat them 4-1' the scoring started in the first innings with a single to Ben Enoka,  Tyson Byrne executed a splendid hit and run that had runners on 2 and 3.  Rhys Casley the Captain moved the ball with a hit to first base who was too slow to catch Ben Enoka at home plate.

Another single from Donny Hale and the Black Sox were 2 nil up, Midland managed to get the innings closed only having given up the 2 runs.  In the 6th innings Nathan Nukunuku singled to left field and Patrick Shannon was brought in to pinch hit, he hit a huge automatic home run off the 3rd ball he faced to take the score to 4-0.

Penese Iosefo pitched for the Black Sox and had an excellent game, striking out 8 hitters and giving up 3 base hits to keep Midland scoreless till the 6th innings, he was replaced by Tane Richardson who gave up a Home run to give Midland conciliation run before finishing the game.

The Black Sox have a considerable challenge on Saturday with 3 games scheduled back in a row, starting with the Chiefs who beat them twice during the week.  A tough challenge to come out with 3 wins.

Regards Cal Gould
Black Sox Manager
 
2012 Legends Of Fastball Classic
23/06/2012

2012 Legends of Fastball Classic Tournament Schedule - Senior Division ...Download here
 
Black Sox v Argentinian National team
22/06/2012

The Black Sox played a double header against the Argentinian National team On Wednesday 20/6.  The team bounced back with two excellent wins 7-5 in the first game and 7-1 in the 2nd game.  Wayne Laulu has started the tour in magnificent form and hit 4 from 6 with another automatic home run, Wayne is happy with his performance to date but says the tour starts tomorrow with the first competitive tournament.  The squad is coming together well and the youngsters pitched well tonight, it was great to see.

The Black Sox pitched Kurt Schollum and Nik Hayes against the Argentinians, earning their first test caps, they performed well.  Nik Hayes especially impressed coming on with loaded bases and no outs and got out of the innings with only 1 run scoring.  He is demonstrating that he has real speed to dominate hitters and will be powerful pitcher of the future, the decision of the selectors and the board to invest in these two players is paying dividends which will be on show for years to come.

Campbell Makea, hit well in the 2nd game hitting 2 home runs and there was numerous cameo fielding and batting efforts from many of the players, the team is developing and the game plan is aggressive and exciting in it's concepts. The 800 fans that turned up witnessed a brand of softball that all New Zealand softball can be proud of.

 
Black Sox Warm Up Games - Day 2
21/06/2012
 
The Black Sox played Hill United Chiefs last night in a double header on the reservation at Six Nations Reserve, Brantford, Ontario.  The locals showed the Black Sox great Hospitality, putting on a nice lunch and a visit to the local museum which is dedicated to the history of the local Indian tribes.  This is the first time that the Black sox have visited this location and the people were extremely friendly and made us welcome.
 
At the Ball park we were greeted with about 1200 spectators, there was a ceremonial smoke dance put on by the locals before the Black Sox replied with the traditional Haka.
 
Game 1
The chiefs won a tight encounter 4-3, with the difference coming in the 1st innings when the chiefs got 2 base hits and a home run to Mark Johnson off pitcher Tane Richardson.  Things settled down after this poor start and The Black Sox clawed their way back into the game scoring two runs in the 3rd and one in the 4th innings to tie the game.
 
The Chiefs came straight back with a run in the 5th innings and a then brought Adam Folkard into the game to close off the game and take the win.  For the Black Sox Wayne Laulu starred with the bat hitting an Automatic home run.
 
Game 2
The hosts were not friendly on the diamond once again getting off to a flying start by getting runners on 1 and 2 before Mark Johnson hit another automatic home run off pitcher Karl Gollan in the first innings.  The Black Sox chased hard and came back at the chiefs who pitched Adam Folkard, the Australian number 1 pitcher. The Black Sox scored 3 runs utilizing their new game plan of short hitting, bunts and plenty of speed on the bases.  Nathan Nukunuku, Jerome Raemaki and Ben Enoka stod out with the bat and their base running.
 
The Black Sox coming from our winter looked a little sluggish in the field and made errors at critical times that again let this game slip from their grasp.  They were beaten 4-3, there was many positives and Coach Eddie Kohlhase said that the game was there to be won but we failed to execute at crucial times in the game.  This is only games 3 and 4 and the Black Sox will get better every game, this is why they are here to learn and put their game plan into practice.
 
Carl Gould
Black Sox Manager
 
Black Sox tour of Canada and USA
19/06/2012

The tour has started positively with wins over Alviston Indians 5-1 and the All Star selection from the St THOMAS district 7-1.  Donny Hale stared with the bat with 2 home runs, 2 triples and a two base hit scoring 8 RBI's.  Captain Rhys Casley and Thomas Makea also hit home runs.  

The Black Sox have worked hard at developing an aggressive running game, exciting base running was the order of the night with 8 stolen bases and 4 extra bases taken by Ben Enoka, Tyson Byrne and Tyrone Bartorillo. There was a crowd of 800 locals who were appreciative at the skill and enthusiasm of the Black Sox.

Congratulations to Nick Hayes and Kurt Schollum who played their first game for the Black Sox, both were added to the tour to build pitching depth for the future, and each came on as relief pitcher and did well.

Carl Gould
Manager NZ Black Sox



 
NZ Black Sox – 2012 North American Tour
 18/06/2012

Players: Casley, Byrne, T Makea, Enoka, Nukunuku, Bartorillo, Laulu, Haretuku, C Makea, Raemaki, Iosefo, H Shannon, P Shannon, Gollan, Neemia, Hale, Richardson, Schollum, Hayes
 
Management: Kohlhase, Workman, Tangaroa, Martin, Cashman, Gould 
 
(Canadian Times)
 
Monday June 18
Double Header 6.00pm, Alviston Indians  8.00pm St Thomas Major Fastball League All Stars, in Alvinston, Ontario.
 
Tuesday June 19
Double-header, 6.00 & 8.00pm Hill United Chiefs, in Six Nations Reserve, Brantford, Ontario.
 
Wednesday June 20
Double-header, 6.00 & 8.00pm, Argentina Men’s National Team in Moorefield, Ontario.
 
 
Legends Tournament
    
Thursday June 21
 
7:00 p.m. Kitchener vs New Zealand 
7:00 p.m. Pt Elgin vs St.Thomas     
9:00 p.m. St.Thomas vs Argentina    
9:00 p.m.  Kitchener vs Toronto      
 
Friday June 22
 
7:00 p.m.  Hill United vs Kitchener  
9:00 p.m.  New Zealand vs Midland
9:00 p.m.  NY Gremlins vs Jarvis     
 
Saturday June 23
 
10:00 a.m. Midland vs Kitchener     
10:00 a.m. NY Gremlins vs St.Thomas  
12:00 p.m. Midland vs Hill United 
12:00 p.m. Argentina vs Pt. Elgin 
 
2:00 P.M.  LEGENDS CEREMONY 
 
3:00 p.m. Hill United vs New Zealand
3:00 p.m.  St. Thomas vs  Jarvis 
5:00 p.m.  Pt. Elgin vs NY Gremlins
5:00 p.m. Toronto vs Midland 
7:00 p.m.  Argentina vs NY Gremlins
7:00 p.m. Jarvis vs Pt. Elgin
9:00 p.m. Jarvis vs Argentina
9:00 p.m. New Zealand vs Toronto
 
Sunday June 24
 
8:00 a.m. Toronto vs Hill United
10:00 a.m. 3rd place Aberdeen Division vs 2nd Place Hallman Division  
10:00 a.m. 3rd place Hallman Division vs 2nd place Aberdeen Division
12:00 p.m.  1st place Hallman Division vs Winner 22
12:00 p.m.  1st place Aberdeen Division vs Winner 21
2:00 p.m.   Winner 23 vs Winner 24   CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
 
Black Sox Media Release
15/06/2012

Success in the coming weeks will be secondary as the Black Sox coaching staff look at the bigger picture – the March World championships at North Shore’s Rosedale Park.
 
“This tour presents us the opportunity to work on our game systems and structures which will benefit this group,” Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said.
 
The Black Sox leave today for a three week tour of North America and the side will waste little time in getting acclimatized for the tour with their opening game on Monday against clubs sides in Ontario, Canada. The team has further games against club sides on Tuesday and then on Wednesday they face the Argentina national side in a double header.
 
On Thursday the side opens play in the first of their two tournaments which is the Legends tournament being held in Kitchener, Canada, from the 1-4 June. The Peligro Tournament will be held in New York, from June 29 to July 1. The tour is the last international competition the Black Sox face before the team is announced in December for the World Championships.
 
“We have a large group and all [of them] are very much in contention for selection,” Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said.
 
That means the door is open for a number of experienced players and this tour sees the return of Donny Hale and Nathan Nukunuku to the team. These two have a wealth of international experience behind them, having been members of the successful 2004 Championship team, and also on the losing side at the 2009 tournament in Saskatoon, Canada.
 
At the other end of the experience scale, Kohlhase has called in both Nick Hayes and Kurt Schollum who will be making their Black Sox debut during the tour. Schollum earlier this year captained the Marlborough Boys’ College team to the national secondary school title and was unlucky not to have made the Junior Black Sox team that will compete at their world championship later this year.
 
“They have been selected because they are good enough, but the intangibles are the things you cannot coach. Whenever a new athlete enters the Black Sox we expect them to bring enthusiasm, passion and excitement to the team,” said coach Kohlhase.
 
The two have joined the pitching staff which includes Tane Richardson, Penese Iosefo and Heinie Shannon.
 
“All of our pitchers have been working hard in the off season,” Kohlhase said.
“Whilst we are looking for results on the diamond, as long as we see improvement in the areas that we have asked our pitchers to work on we will be satisfied.”
 
Black Sox North America Tour Team Changes
15/06/2012

Softball New Zealand would like to congratulate both Kurt Schollum (Marlborough) and Nikki Hayes (Hutt Valley) who have been called into the New Zealand Black Sox squad for upcoming North American Tour.

They have been called into the squad for Jeremy Manley who has withdrawn for personal reasons.
 
Black Sox North America Tour Team
3/04/2012

Defense will be a word the Black Sox players will hear a lot during their North America tour later in the year.

The tour is the last major preparation for the next year's world championship for the team and for the coaching staff that means players will be coming under the microscope more than they have in recent time, especially the pitchers with four named for the June-July tour.

"I am still of the opinion that we are giving up far too many runs," coach Eddie Kohlhase said.

"Perhaps a combination of pitchers not hitting good spots and or our defensive patterns not aligned to a strategy."

Kohlhase for this trip has put his faith in Heinie Shannon, Penese Iosefa, Tane Richardson and Jeremy Manley. He also has a fifth option with Karl Gollan selected but as an outfielder rather than a hurler.

Of the four front line pitcher Shannon has been the most impressive this summer. He was the leading pitcher at the Interislander National Fastpitch Championship and then backed up that performance by taking out the same award while playing for club side Waitakere Bears at the national interclub tournament.

Iosefa and Richardson also featured among the top five hurlers at the NFC tournament, while at the club championship they were among the top 15, with the later competition involving a number of overseas pitchers.

For the coaching staff the performance of their players at the premier tournaments was pleasing.

"We (selection panel Dave Workman and Chub Tangaroa) were particularly pleased with the squad memebrs," Kohlhase said.

"We saw significant improvement in areas of their individual work-ons - areas of the game they were asked to improve."

For the tour, which will see the side play not only a number of Canadian and American club sides but also in both the Legends and Peligro tournaments, Kohlhase has resisted the temptation of injecting too much youth and only jerome Raemaki can fall into the category, but while he is a member of the Junior Black Sox team for their world championship later this year, this will be his third tour with the senior side.

The side also sees a return to the international game for Donny Hale, who has been living in Japan, and Nathan Nukunuku.

Hale is not the only overseas based player to be selected with Jeremy Manley and Karl Gollan both in the team and living in the United States.

The team is: Heinie Shannon, Nathan Nukunuku, Patrick Shannon, Ben Enoka, Jerome Haretuku (Auckland), Penese Iosefa,  Tyron Bartorillo (Canterbury), Rhys Casley (c), Tyson Byrne (Hutt Valley), Thomas Makea, Jerome Raemaki, Campbell Makea, Wayne Laulu, Tane Richardson, Aaron Stroman Neemia (Wellington), Donny Hale (Japan), Jeremy Manley, Karl Gollan (United States).

ISF Men’s World Softball Championships 2013
March 2012

The official countdown to the Softball World Championships 2013 begins in earnest with the one year to go milestone celebrated in Auckland today.

International Softball Federation deputy chairman Bob Leveloff marked the occasion at the home of the World Championships 2013 – Rosedale Park on Auckland’s North Shore.

“It is fantastic to have the World Championships 2013 here in Auckland, and we’re  just one year away.It‘s fitting that the premier event in the sport is to be held in this country,” Mr Leveloff said.

Minister of Sport – the  Honourable Murray McCully - was on site at the launch and mentioned how pleasing it is to have another major world sporting event in New Zealand.

“We are thrilled that the Softball World Championships 2013 are to be held in New Zealand.“We did a great job hosting last year’s Rugby World Cup and this is another chance for New Zealand to showcase itself to the world,” Minister McCully said.

Mr Leveloff also announced former New Zealand Black Sox captain and sporting icon Mark Sorenson as an ambassador of the World Championships 2013.

Sorenson says he is honoured to be an ambassador for the World Championships 2013.
“Winning a world title is something that I will always hold dearly so to be made an ambassador for this event is something I will cherish,” he said.

Rosedale Park planned upgrade was also unveiled at the launch.

The facility upgrade for the site includes a brand new purpose built stadium between Diamond 1 and Diamond 2. The works also involve the redevelopment of Diamond 2 and renovations to the existing clubrooms.

Rosedale Park will be a world class facility in Auckland. 

BS and Murray

Black Sox Squad Named for Aussie Tour

While Kohlhase has put all the Black Sox players on notice saying “there are no guarantees for anyone” he is gradually fine-tuning the squad to hit a peak for the World Championships.
 
“We will name a squad this time next year so there’s still time for players to play themselves out or play themselves into the team.
 
“Obviously we have an idea of who we want and what style of game we want to play but with so much at stake we want to have as much depth as we can,” he said.
 
Talented Auckland player 18-year- old Ben Bull is included in the side and along with Jerome Raemaki and the young Rona he will give the side a youthful look.
 
Kohlhase makes no apologies for introducing the young players.
 
“Our game has a great history of bringing through exciting young players – we are no different. These young guys give the team an edge.”
 
The squad also sees the return of the talented catcher Aaron Neemia and the battle-hardened pitcher Regan Manley.
 
“Both men deserve their place in the squad,” said Kohlhase.
 
“They have both addressed significant issues in their lives and we see them as vital parts of the Black Sox team.
 
“Aaron is regarded as one of the premier catchers we have got while Regan continues to impress as a pitcher of high quality.”
 
Frank Pointon also returns to the mound to establish a formidable pitching roster featuring the Hutt Valley’s Shaun Jamieson and Manley.
 
The inclusion of Canterbury veteran Daniel Milne as a catcher also excites Kohlhase.
 
“There’s no secret we don’t have too many quality catchers so seeing Daniel front up in that role shows the calibre of the bloke.
 
“He is undoubtedly one of our most professional players and that’s the attitude we want.”
 
The team will be lead by Hutt Valley’s Rhys Casley.
 
 The Black Sox will take part in the high intensity Skins tournament against the best teams Australia has to offer plus the Samoan international team.
 
For the rules of the tournament and the draw go www.softball.org.nz
 
The squad departs for Sydney on Tuesday November 29 and returns on Monday December 5.
 
The squad is:
 
Rhys Casley (Hutt Valley) Captain
 
Pitchers:
Regan Manley (Hawkes Bay)
Frank Pointon (Wellington)
Shaun Jamieson (Hutt Valley)
 
Catchers:
Aaron Neemia (Wellington)
Daniel Milne (Canterbury)
 
Outfield:
Wayne Laulu (Wellington)
Ben Enoka (Auckland)
Jerome Raemaki (Wellington)
Campbell Makea (Wellington)
Jerome Haretuku (Auckland)
 
Infield:
Tyson Byrne (Hutt Valley)
Tyron Bartorillo (Canterbury)
Ben Bull (Auckland)
 
Designated player:
Patrick Shannon (Auckland)
 
Management:
Coach; Eddie Kohlhase
Assistant-Coach; Dave Workman
Physiotherapist; Rob Cashman
Manager: Doug Golightly
 
Black Sox Tour of America (American leg)

Friday July 1

Peligro Tournament, Crotana Park (http://peligrosportsnyc.com/directions)
Black Sox v California, 3-0

Saturday July 2
Black Sox v. Industriales, 3-2
Black Sox v. NY Sports Bar, 3-4
Black Sox v. Dominicana, 0-3


Sunday July 3
Playoffs

Black Sox v. Chicago/NY, 3-2

Semi final: Black Sox v California As, 0-2

 
Black Sox Tour of North America (Canada Leg)

NOTE: The days below are NZ dates and times. These will differ from North American websites and times as they are a day behind us. 

Wednesday June 22, Toronto, Canada

Tuesday June 22, Toronto, Canada
Double-header in Niagara v League All-Star team
Game 1 - Black Sox v League All-Star team, 15-1
Game 2 - Black Sox v League All-Star team, 3-0 (called early due to lightning)
http://www.kwfastball.com/

Thursday June 23, Toronto, Canada
Double-header in New Dundee v Kitchener Cubs and Tri-Country All-Star team.
Game 1 - Black Sox v Kitchener Cubs, 0-5
Game 2 - Black Sox v Tri-Country All-Star team, 3-0
http://www.kwfastball.com/

Friday June 24, Toronto, Canada, Legends of Fastball Classic, Peter Hallman Ballyard Park, Kitchener
Black Sox v Owen Sound Selects, 5-1
http://www.kwfastball.com/

Saturday June 25, Toronto, Canada
Black Sox v Elmira Expos, 8-1

Sunday June 26, Toronto, Canada
Black Sox v Port Elgin Blue Devils, 7-0
Black Sox v Chicago-New York, 4-1

Monday June 27, Toronto, Canada
Playoff round
Black Sox v Midland Explorers, 5-4

Final
Black Sox v Jarvis, 4-3

Black Sox win Legends of Fastball Classic champions, with 4-3 win over Jarvis Travelers, on Rhys Casley 2run HR in 5th.

Tuesday June 28, Toronto, Canada
Game 1: Black Sox v Jarvis Travellers, 6-12
Game 2: Black Sox v Jarvis Travellers, 4-3

 
Black Sox North America Tour

 
An eye to the future is how Black Sox softball coach Eddie Kohlhase sees his side's tour to North America.
 
The team leaves on Saturday for the 20-day tour which will see the side play a number of games including the Legends of Fastball Classic tournament in Kitchener, Canada and the Peligro tournament in New York.
 
“The youth component in our team is vital. We must keep on building this team and ensuring we have the mix between experience and youthful enthusiasm just right. That's the secret for any team and we are no different," Kohlhase said.
 
"This tour provides further opportunity for our NZ players to play the best competition in the world. It also provides our players a testing environment making sure we make every stride to achieve optimum results on the field. This tour will lay the foundations for the assault on the World Championships at Auckland's Rosedale Park in March of 2013."
 
The culture in the Black Sox environment highlights the importance of preparation, with players not only consistently performing week in and week out, but improving as they strive to become the best they can be.
 
Injuries and player availability have also forced changes to the initial team selected with Brad Rona, a veteran of three world championships, forced to miss the tour through a knee injury requiring surgery. His unavailability also means the opportunity to play at an international level with his son Pita, who will make his Black Sox debut during the tour, thus New Zealand sporting history is on hold. Pita Rona is not the only college student selected in the team with Wellington's Jerome Raemaki being the other.
 
"It's exciting to have two outstanding schoolboys in the team with Pita and Jerome. This is a great learning curve for them and one they won't forget."
 
Brad Rona's place in the team has given Kohlhase and pitching coach Chubb Tangaroa the opportunity to add another pitcher to the side with Canterbury's Nathan Taikato called into the team. Also coming into the side for the games in the United States is pitcher Karl Gollan, who last played for the Black Sox at the 2004 world championships in Christchurch. Gollan will replace Jeremy Manley, who is unavailable for the games in the US.

 

Black Sox North America Tour Update


With the 2013 World Championships scheduled for early 2013, the Black Sox head off on their tour of North America on June 18th with some clear objectives.  They are away for 3 weeks and are involved in tournaments and games in Canada and the USA.  Due to injuries and player unavailability, a few changes have been made to the original squad.  As such, Softball New Zealand would like to wish the following players and management well on their upcoming tour:

Rhys Casley (Captain); Tyson Byrne (Vice Captain); Thomas Cameron; Penese Iosefo; Craig Wallace; Nathan Taikato; Tyron Bartorillo; Jerome Raemkai; Daniel Tarapi; Pita Rona; Thomas Makea; Daniel Milne; Ben Enoka; Jerome Haretuku; Wayne Laulu; Campbell Makea; Jeremy Manley; Karl Gollan.

They will be joined by a management team comprising of:
Eddie Kohlhase (Head Coach); Dave Workman (Assistant Coach); Chubb Tangaroa (Pitching Coach); Rob Cashman (Physiotherapist); Craig Soper (Technology Assistant); Doug Golightly (Manager).
 
Technology Assistant update
Softball New Zealand would like to extend its congratulations to Craig Soper on his recent appointment as Black Sox Technology Assistant.  Craig replaces Clayton Willocks who has been with the Black Sox for the past 12 months.  Softball New Zealand would like to thank Clayton for the time and energy he has invested into the role during this time and wish him well with his future endeavours.
 
Black Sox Team Named for North American Tour

Softball lessons rather than those learnt in the classroom is going to be the focus for Pita Rona and Jereome Raemaki in June. The two college students have been selected in the Black Sox team for their North American tour, Rona's inclusion also adds another piece of New Zealand softball sporting history with the 16-year-old pitcher joining his father Brad in the team.

"This is truly a unique selection," Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said.

"Both Rona's are outstanding players and represent all that's good about the game. Pita's selection is based on form and what we know he's capable of. Pita has exceptional talent and huge potential."

Also named on the pitching staff for the tour is Penese Iosefo, who pitched Canterbury to victory over Wellington in last month's final of the National Fastpitch Championship (NFC).

"Penese has forced his way into the team on the back of some solid performances for Canterbury," Kohlhase said.

"He has shown genuine consistency in the past couple of seasons."

Kohlhase has also included Thomas Cameron, who pitched a no-hitter for his club team Poneke-Kilbirnie to win the national interclub tournament last month and the United States based Jeremy Manley, who last played for the side at the 2009 world championships. Kohlhase has also named Craig Wallace (Wellington) and Tyron Bartorillo (Canterbury) who will be making their debut for the national team.

"Craig's selection is a result of consistent performances during the last season. He is well respected among the players and has a hardnosed approach to the game," Kohlhase said.

"Ty [Bartorillo] brings exceptional skill and a real edge to the infield. His competitive streak and talent will be a bonus for us."

The team also sees the return of Daniel Milne, who had to withdraw from the side for the December trip to Canberra, Australia because of work commitments after the first Christchurch earthquake.

"It's great to welcome Dan back to the team and our senior management group. The break Dan had has reinforced his commitment to the team and it's that attitude we need," Kohlhase said.

"The recent earthquake has been a tragic and traumatic time for the people of Christchurch and Dan has witnessed that closely. His experience and the way he continues to deal with it is something we can learn from. He brings real steel to the squad."

Also back after missing the December trip is Thomas Makea.

"Many sports teams have great players but few have iconic players in their ranks. We are lucky that one of the best to have ever pulled on the Black Sox uniform is with us," said Kohlhase.

"Thomas brings genuine class to the squad. His presence will have a real impact on the younger players."

The team is: Ben Enoka, Jerome Haretuku (Auckland), Penese Iosefo, Tyron Bartorillo, Daniel Milne (Canterbury), Rhys Casley (captain) Tyson Byrne (Hutt Valley), Brad Rona, Pita Rona (North Harbour), Thomas Cameron, Aaron Neemia, Craig Wallace, Jerome Raemaki, Daniel Tarapi, Thomas Makea, Wayne Laulu, Campbell Makea (Wellington), Jeremy Manley (USA-based).

 
Black Sox Results at Men's International Test Series in Australia

The Black Sox kicked off their International Test Series in Australia with a victory over Argentina 3-1. The highlights of the game were veteran NZ pitcher Heinie Shannon shutting down the Argentinian side allowing only 3 hits and 1 run, and captain Rhys Casley having 4 hits from as many at-bats. Ben Enoka, Brad Rona and Wayne Laulu drove in the three NZ runs. The lone Argentinian run was a solo home run in the bottom of the 5th inning from centre fielder German Sacks. Click here for the game summary.

 

Black Sox Tour of Australia

THERE is a new-look to the Black Sox softball team for the test series against Australia. From the team that lost in the world championship final to Australia last year just five players - Rhys Casley, who will captain the team, Brad Rona, Patrick Shannon, Heinie Shannon and Ben Enoka remain.

"We are in a development phase of a new campaign, historically the Black Sox only ever pick their best team every four years and we see no reason not to continue with this logic," Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said.

"While some regulars have missed selection for this tour we have a group of 40 identified squad members whom are all committed to the goal of raising the bar to ensure the Black Sox keep evolving."

While there are five players from last year's team remaining, Kohlhase has also recalled Thomas Cameron, Tyson Byrne, Bernard Hale and Wayne Laulu who have all had time in the Black Sox team in the past four years.

The new-comers to the side are Te Wera Bishop, Shaun Jamieson, Aaron Kuru, Joel Evans, Bobby King, Dan Tarapi, Campbell Makea and Jerome Heretuku.

Of those eight the biggest surprise is perhaps the inclusion of the 17-year-old Bishop, who will be the back-up catcher to Shannon. The series in Australia is an opportunity for the Wellington youngster to learn from
the experienced Shannon.

Kohlhase believes the international series in Canberra will provide the sort of competition the players need to gauge where they are at.

"Playing the world champions is a huge challenge but it offers us the competition we need to see where we are at. We have a relatively inexperienced squad so this will most definitely provide us with an
indicator of what's required to compete at this level.

"This is an outstanding Australian squad and Argentina have always battled hard. It's going to be a tough series."

PITCHERS: Heinie SHANNON (AK), Shaun JAMIESON (HV), Thomas CAMERON (WN).
CATCHERS: Te Wera BISHOP (WN), Pat SHANNON (AK).
INFIELDERS: Tyson BYRNE (HV), Rhys CASLEY (c) (HV), Brad RONA (vc) (NH), Aaron KURU (HB), Joel EVANS (HV), Bobby KING (AK).
OUTFIELDERS: Bernard HALE (AK), Ben ENOKA (AK), Wayne LAULU (WN), Dan TARAPI (WN), Jerome HERETUKU (AK), Campbell MAKEA (WN).
Management Team: Coach: Eddie Kohlhase, Assistant coach: Dave Workman,
Pitching coach: Chubb Tangaroa, Technical analyst: Clayton Willocks,
Physiotherapist: Rob Cashman, Manager: Doug Golightly


Men's Fastpitch Softball International Test Series

Hawker International Softball Centre
Walhallow Street, Hawker ACT
Wednesday 8 December - Friday 10 December 2010

Wednesday 8 December
Australia Gold v Australia Green, Argentina v New Zealand, Australia Green v Argentina,New Zealand v Australia Gold.

Thursday 9 December
New Zealand v Australia Green, Australia Gold v Argentina, Australia Green v Australia Gold, New Zealand v Argentina.

Friday 10 December
Australia Green v New Zealand, Argentina v Australia Gold, Argentina v Australia Green, Australia Gold v New Zealand. Play-offs.

 
Heinie Shannon called into Black Sox

10 November
BATTLE hardened pitcher Heinie Shannon has been called into the Black Sox squad.

Shannon – who is part of the wider Black Sox squad – will replace Regan Manley who has withdrawn from the team for personal reasons.

The evergreen 35-year-old Auckland player will join Thomas Cameron and Shaun Jamieson as the frontline pitchers on the upcoming tour to Australia at the beginning of December.

Shannon will take part in one-day camp in Palmerston North this Sunday alongside twin brother Patrick as the Black Sox pitchers and catchers fine-tune their combinations under the watchful eyes of coaches Dave Workman and Chubb Tangaroa.

The 23 man Black Sox squad will then assemble in Christchurch on Friday December 3 before leaving for the Australian international series on December 6.

Details of the Black Sox plans for Christchurch and the itinerary for Australia will be released next week.

 
Anti Doping Information Methylhexaneamine

9 November

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has recently warned all Australian athletes and coaches about the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine, following a spate of positive doping tests both in Australia and overseas. Methylhexaneamine was added to the WADA banned substance list in 2010.

AIS Sports Nutrition has compiled the following advice in relation to this substance:-

Historically, Methylhexaneamine has been used in nasal decongestant sprays, however because of its stimulant effects, it is increasingly being found in nutritional supplements. Methylhexaneamine may be identified on labels as one of the following:
  • Methylhexaneamine — Forthan — 2-hexanamine 4-methyl-
  • Methylhexanamine —Floradrene — 2-hexanamine, 4-methyl- (9CI)
  • DMAA — 4-methyl-2-hexanamine — 1,3-dimethylamylamine
  • Geranamine — 4-Methylhexan-2-amine 1 — 3-dimethylpentylamine
  • Forthane — 2-amino-4-methylhexane — Pentylamine, 1, 3-dimethyl-
     
Methylhexaneamine is also a component of geranium oil. Therefore, it may also be listed on supplement labels / ingredients lists as:
  • Flower oil extract (geranium)
  • Geranium oil extract
     
Methylhexaneamine is often combined with caffeine in nutritional supplements to promote a stimulant and thermogenic effect. This is most likely to occur in two types of products:
  1. Weight loss supplements (i.e. drink powders / pills which are promoted to enhance fat or weight loss). These supplements often used to contain ephedra, which is also listed on the WADA banned substance list.
  2. Pre-exercise ‘stimulant’ supplements – frequently promoted and sold within body building circles as a pre-exercise ‘boost’ to enhance training.
     
These products are for sale over the counter in Australia and can be readily obtained over the internet.
Athletes should be aware of the potential risks involved in taking any nutritional supplement and note that under the World Anti-Doping Code strict liability principle, athletes are ultimately responsible for any substance found in their body. This means that even if a failed drug test results from a mistake or a contaminated supplement, the athlete is still at fault.

Products supplied through AIS Sports Nutrition are checked to ensure they do not have any banned substances listed on their ingredients list, and are assessed to be at very low risk of being contaminated. However, it is still important for AIS athletes to carefully check the ingredients list of any nutritional supplement, and if unsure check with their sports doctor, sports dietitian or with ASADA.

 

Black Sox Team for test series vs Australia
19 October
 
There is a new-look to the Black Sox softball team for the up-coming test series against Australia. From the team that lost in the world championship final to Australia last year just four players - Rhys Casley, who will captain the team, Brad Rona, Patrick Shannon and Ben Enoka remain.

"We are in a development phase of a new campaign, historically the Black Sox only ever pick their best team every four years and we see no reason not to continue with this logic," Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said.

"Whilst some regulars have missed selection for this tour we have a group of 40 identified squad members whom are all committed to the goal of raising the bar to ensure the Black Sox keep evolving."

While there are four players from last year's team remaining, Kohlhase has also recalled Thomas Cameron, Tyson Byrne, Regan Manley, Bernard Hale and Wayne Laulu who have all had time in the Black Sox team in the past four years.

The new-comers to the side are Te Wera Bishop, Shaun Jamieson, Aaron Kuru, David Butler, Bobby King, Dan Tarapi, Campbell Makea and Jerome Heretuku.
Rhys-Casley_Captain-10162_012.jpg
Black Sox Captain
Rhys Casley

Of those eight the biggest surprise is perhaps the inclusion of the 17-year-old Bishop, who will be the back-up catcher to Shannon. The series in Australia is an opportunity for the Wellington youngster to learn from the experienced Shannon.

The team will assemble in Christchurch on December 2, and depart for Sydney four days later. The series is from December 8-10.

It is hoped that while the team is in Christchurch they will play against Argentina before heading to Australia, but that is yet to be confirmed.
 
Pitchers
Regan MANLEY (HB)
Shaun JAMIESON (HV)
Thomas Cameron (WN)
Catchers
Te Wera BISHOP (WN)
Pat SHANNON (AK)

Infielders
Tyson BYRNE (HV)
Rhys CASLEY (c) (HV)
Brad RONA (vc) (NH)
Aaron KURU (HB)
David BUTLER (HV)
Bobby KING (AK)

Outfielders
Bernard HALE (AK)
Ben ENOKA (AK)
Wayne LAULU (WN)
Dan TARAPI (WN)
Jerome HERETUKU (AK)
Campbell MAKEA (WN)
 
Black Sox impose one-strike drug policy   

24 August

Black Sox management have imposed a "zero-tolerance" drug policy and warned any player caught smoking cannabis will be banned from the 2013 world men's softball championships in Auckland.
The tough, new stance was announced at a national coaching conference in Wellington at the weekend by new Black Sox manager Doug Golightly.
"Everyone in this room knows that our sport is mired in this illegal and sickening swamp," Golightly, an Auckland-based sports media personality, said. "We are demanding that our Black Sox players are drug-free."
Wellington catcher Aaron Neemia missed the 2009 world championships in Canada after he was banned for 18 months for a second positive cannabis test administered by Drug Free Sport New Zealand. Former Black Sox pitcher Thomas Cameron and provincial player Steven Manson were also suspended for two months in 2009 for cannabis breaches.
Golightly and head coach Eddie Kohlhase have now brought in a one-strike-is-out policy.
"Let me state quite clearly and openly that if one of our players is caught smoking dope or tests positive for dope then that player will not be eligible for the 2013 world championships," Golightly said.
"Eddie has made it clear that there is a zero tolerance policy in operation ... No matter their status – senior or rookie – they will be axed."
Team management was prioritising a "great players, great people" philosophy.
"This just won't be a slogan or cliche. It won't just be a catchcry when the Black Sox are on tour. We want this to be a factor that will be associated with the Black Sox.
"A key part of that must be, and is, a firm stance on the use of drugs – in particular marijuana, dope, grass, electric puha, Herekino Green, call it what you will," said Golightly, who explained "Herekino is one of Northland's biggest cash crop areas, just south of Kaitaia".
The new manager said he was "not that naive to believe there will not be some sort of drama for us to sort out".
"It would be good if there wasn't, but despite our protestations and pleas, it's likely there will [be].
"Of course there could be cries of `natural justice', [and calls for] two-month or four-month standdowns in line with Drug Free [New Zealand] policy. But the players will know where they stand."
The cannabis use issue and other aspects of the new philosophy would be outlined at the Black Sox's next camp at the Millennium Institute in Auckland next month.
Each player would be asked to sign a code of conduct, committing themselves to those principles.

Golightly said the Black Sox's world championship record – five gold medals and three silvers – "can be counted among our most successful and significant sporting outfits".
He heralded Kohlhase as "one of New Zealand sport's most respected coaches" and "one of [softball's] best analysts and deeper thinkers".
But he stressed there had to be a reality check for some Black Sox players.
"The Black Sox team is no longer the best in the world. The Black Sox players are no longer world champions ... the Aussies are. That's why the Black Sox have to change." -  by Tony Smith

 
Mark Sorenson honoured
16 August
 
New Zealand's most decorated softballer Mark Sorenson will receive another honour when the International Softball Congress admits him to the ISC Hall of Fame at the annual championships in Midland, Michigan.

Midland was the site of Sorenson's international debut whe the Black Sox won the world title in 1984 when he was only 16. He was unavailable in 1996 when the team won the first of three consecutive titles but was back as captain for the 2000 and 2004 world championship wins.

A regular competitor in the States, Sorenson was noted as the only New Zealand batter to consistently thrive in the US title races and he won a reputation for his consistency, his dedication to both his talents and his teams and for his ability to match the US players in all respects.

His father David, who led New Zealand to a shared world titile with the US and Canada in 1976 in The Hutt Valley, and his mother Maureen, a noted softball administrator, and his two children are in Midland to see the ceremony.

Sorenson.jpg

Black Sox legend Mark Sorenson

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