There is an International flavour to the National Fastpitch Championship which begins on Thursday at Fraser Park in Lower Hutt with the Japanese Universities men's team entered.
For the team being able to compete in the tournament, although not eligible for the title, was a bonus. The side were undertaking a tour of New Zealand and found out it would coincide with the NFC so inquired of Softball NZ the chances of competing in it.
"We were happy to let them play," Softball New Zealand Event and Association Relationship Manager Eugene Gilbert said.
"We think the team will add another element to the tournament and only make it a better spectacle.
"It also provides a good chance for our national coaches and players to witness the style of play Japan plays."
Although there isn't any senior Japanese national players in the team, the side does include six members of their current National Junior side and many of the players have been earmarked for higher honours in the future.
The side opens its campaign at the tournament against competition new-comers the Counties-Manukau Waikato side. It also plays last year's beaten finalist Wellington and then Auckland on the opening day of the tournament.
14 Feb, 2012
Softball New Zealand are very pleased to announce Interislander as the major naming rights partner for the National Fastpitch Championship commencing this Thursday.
The Interislander are partnering with Softball New Zealand to ensure the National Fastpitch Championship is a successful and exciting event.
It is great to have Interislander on board once again! SNZ appreciate the support shown by Interislander toward the softball community and our great game
|1||Megan Farrell (P)||Sheree Cartwright (P)||Jenni Mumm (P)|
|2||Michelle Kingi (P)||Krysta Hoani (P)||Elisha Smith (P)|
|3||Michele Tangaroa (P)||Jennifer Feret (P)||Lauren Sutherland (P)|
|4||Kingsley Avery||Zavana Aranga||Cassandra Andrews|
|5||Sabina Borecka||Yvonne Burgess||Nicole Baxter|
|6||Rebecca Bromhead||Danica Ferriso||Emma Frost|
|7||Kyla Bromhead||Ashley Johnston||Kasey Gilmour|
|8||Tuhi Cooper||Dinah Luke||Robyn Hall|
|9||Melanie Gettins||Kuraroa Ratu-James||Te Rangi Heke|
|10||Kataraina Hiku||Amelia Rika||Christina Paul|
|11||Te Reo Matautia||Kiri Shaw||Cassie Siataga|
|12||Victoria Reyland||Tanya Wilson||Lani Stead|
|13||Katie Smith||Tegan Bromhead||Carly Werahiko|
|14||Katrina Stockford||Talilotu Tonu’u||Krystal Werahiko|
|15||Gillian Wills||Kayla Clark||Mikayla Werahiko|
|Wellington||Counties Waikato||Southern Pride|
|1||Jasmin Kaiaruna (P)||Alice Ireton (P)||Mishani Areaiiti (P)|
|2||Jordan Leigh Koni (P)||Destiny Stirling (P)||Petra Kriklanova (P)|
|3||Melissa Brosnahan (P)||Beth Stavert (P)||Kasey Hoani (P)|
|4||Brooke Cutting||Hinemoa Collier||Tianna Areaiiti|
|5||Emma Francis||Lizzie Corbet||Hannah Cook|
|6||Lydia Koko-Lutau||Kristina Goodine||Pare Tanoa|
|7||Katie McAndrew||Taumanu Hepe||Paige Anna Lovell|
|8||Tania Misa||Zoe Hirama||Taylah MacDonald|
|9||Charlotte Pointon||Carmen Matiu||Sharae Sinclair|
|10||Kayla Rangiwha||Mereana Monk||Anthea Stringer|
|11||Danielle Tanoa||Stephanie Roy||Erika Avery|
|12||Megan Tasker||Tahlia Te Kiri||Aroha Noanoa|
|13||Mere Tikitiki||Shaamila Tua||Anita Leeuw|
|14||Jardene Tipa||Nita Hickey||Breanna Gibson|
|15||Hope Weber||Keely Wells|
|Auckland||North Harbour||Hutt Valley||Hawkes Bay|
|1||Thomas Enoka (P)||Josh Pettett (P)||Shaun Jamieson (P)||Jovaan Hanley (P)|
|2||Bayley Hoani (P)||Jackson Prime (P)||Brad Worsley (P)||Regan Manley (P)|
|3||Hienrick Shannon (P)||Joel Harris (P)||Jamie Love (P)||Horowai Puketapu (P)|
|4||Kurt Allan||Martyn Cannons||Edward Albright||Karaitiana Aranui|
|5||Ben Enoka||Taylor Hick||Tyson Byrne||TeRangi Chadwick|
|6||Bernard Hale||Matthew Johnson||Scott Cartwright||Josh Gettins|
|7||Jerome Haretuku||Aaron Knight||Rhys Casley||Luke Herrick|
|8||Matthew Hicks||Tamihana Nau||Steven Deans||Kane Herbert|
|9||Duane Jerard||Brad Rona||Joel Evans||Mario Herbert|
|10||Bobby King||Lee Rudolph||Rakai Hokianga||Curtis Huata|
|11||Tony Niu||Callum Ryan||Geoff Packer||Aaron Kuru|
|12||Nathan Nukunuku||Morgan Timoti-Cook||Michael Telfer||Jesse Little|
|13||Patrick Shannon||Kurtis Tomkins||Les Poutama||Joseph O’Leary|
|14||Kevin Stockford||Dean Wallace||Lewis Temarama||Rongo Rapaea|
|15||Rueben Topia||Corey Wilson||Cameron Willis|
|Wellington||Canterbury||Southern Pride||Counties Waikato|
|1||Thomas Cameron (P)||Penese Iosefo (P)||Ben Watts (P)||Hone-Mark Sinnott (P)|
|2||Frank Pointon (P)||Scott Sutherland (P)||Kurt Schollum (P)||Saan Tuoro (P)|
|3||Tane Richardson (P)||Nathan Taikato (P)||Jack Fletcher (P)||Andy Lee (P)|
|4||Stephen England||Travis Bartorillo||Timothy Campbell||Adam Chwesick|
|5||Wayne Laulu||Tyron Bartorillo||Derryn French||Peter Jay Dando|
|6||Gene Lutton||Brendan Batten||Kyle Marfell||Grant Dean|
|7||Campbell Makea||Gareth Cook||Nick Max||Jason Duncan|
|8||Fabian Makea||Clayton Ellis||Jamie Robinson||Jamie Matiu|
|9||Thomas Makea||Joshua Harbrow||Ryan Schollum||Hohepa Monk|
|10||Jarrad Martin||Steve McFarlane||Christopher Telfer||Lawrence Naera|
|11||Jerome Raemaki||Daniel Milne||Matthew Telfer||Troy Pirie|
|12||Johnny Stratford||Callum Muir||Casey Eden||Carlos Kohu-Martin|
|13||Aaron Stroman-Neemia||Stephen Ratu||Joshua Niu||Brendon Rogers|
|14||Daniel Tarapi||Hunter Blake||Cameron Watts||Carlaus Te Kawa|
|15||Craig Wallace||Matthew Holmes||Luke Bowers||Mike Setefano|
|Soohei Tateishi||Fumiya Ikemi|
|Ryoo Kataoka||Soonosuke Oota|
|Yuuhei Fukatsu||Ryooma Wada|
|Takuroo Hotta||Kazufumi Yoshida|
|Masashi Norimoto||Kazuma Tanaka|
|Koota Nakanishi||Ryoo Koshikiya|
|Koosei Takahashi||Kazuki Kanaiduka|
|Ryuuta Wada||Masaharu Yamasaki|
|Taiki Shiba||Hikaru Kawahara|
|Daisuke Endoo||Yuuta Fukaya|
|Takaya Ueta||Masashi Hirayama|
There will be a new-look to this year’s National Fastpitch Championship with Counties Manukau/Waikato combining and entering teams in both the men’s and women‘s competitions.
“It is fantastic to have them entering,” said Eugene Gilbert, Softball New Zealand’s Events and Association Relationship Manager.
“They have also drawn on players from within their area which is good for them. Their age grade teams have had success in recent seasons so it will be interesting to see how they go at this level.”
Former Black Sox player Clayton Willocks is coaching the Counties Manukau/Waikato men’s team in which the tournament will be held in Lower Hutt from February 16-19. The women’s team will be coached by Angela Johnston, who is the older sister of White Sox player Ashley, and will be making her debut as a head coach at this level.
Meanwhile, defending champions Canterbury will again be strong in the men’s competition with the side including Black Sox squad members Penese Iosefo, Tyron Bartorillo, Stephen Ratu, Joshua Harbrow and Gareth Cook. Beaten finalists Wellington will again be strong with that side having nine current Black Sox squad members on its 14-player roster.
While their line-ups may not be as star-studded as Wellington, the remaining five teams in the competition - Auckland, Hutt Valley, North Harbour, Hawke’s Bay and Southern Pride also have national squad members in their line-ups and have their own points to prove. The men’s competition also has an international flavour to it with the Japanese University team also entered.
In the women’s competition, Wellington have a number of changes to its line-up and its hopes of successfully defending their title will rest with White Sox squad members Brooke Cutting, Charlotte Pointon, Hope Weber, Megan Tasker and Danielle Tanoa.
Beaten finalist Auckland will be wanting to go one better this season and with 11 of the 15 squad members either current White Sox squad members or former internationals the side will be one of the more-fancied teams in the competition.
Also out to prove a point will be the Hutt Valley side, who had dominated the NFC in recent seasons, but last year missed out on making the final. That side this year has 13 current or former national squad members in its line-up.
The other three women’s teams – Canterbury, Counties Manukau/Waikato and Southern Pride – also have points to prove during the week and while they do not have the same number of internationals to call upon as the more fancied opponents, they do have national squad members in their teams who will be wanting to cement their positions in the national team.