The Central Auckland Bolts left it late, but delivered in the opening game of softball’s men’s Fastball 45® finals at Auckland’s ELE Stadium.

Needing three runs in the fourth and final innings against Southern champions ELE Papanui Tigers, the Northern champion Bolts responded, going from 3-5 down to win 6-5.

Te Kirika Cooper-Nicola took them to 4-5 off a Floyd Nola hit before Toby Bourgeois drove in two runs to give the Bolts the win.

In the women’s opening game, Christchurch’s Sporting Edge Halswell Hornets beat Auckland’s West Waves 6-5.

The Hornet’s, the Southern champions, scored five runs in the second innings to give them a 5-2 lead.

Though the Waves leveled the scores 5-5 in the third, the 45 minute clock was already working against them.

When the Hornets edged ahead, 6-5 in the bottom of the third and then the clock ran out with an innings to play.

The run scorers for the Hornets were Mikayla Werahiko with three on a triple and Lucy McIntyre who opened the scoring with a double, and Cassie Siataga who hit the winning run.

It is only the second time in 19 games in this format that the team batting second has won.

Saturday’s games see the Waves take on Central champions Hutt Valley Kotuku Raiders and the Bolts back up against the Wellington Thunder.

Both games are live on Sky Sport 9 from 7pm.