Maggie Shields was part of the Hutt Valley under-15 girls’ rep team who won their lower North Island tournament. PHOTO/FILE

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Giants are in must-win territory for today’s Intercity Softball clash away to Cardinals Red.

The Masterton-based team have dropped their first two games since being promoted to the Premier Two division, after easily winning the pre-Christmas Premier Three competition.

Giants president and team member Chris Feary said that a victory was vital for the team’s playoff prospects.

“If we don’t get a win this weekend, we’re going to be struggling to make the semis, but a win this weekend will put us right in contention, because there’s only one team [Totara Park] that’s won two games, while most of the rest have had one win and one loss,” he said.

“If we can beat Cardinals, it will move us to one win and two losses and put us right in the hunt.”

Feary is at a loss to why the talented Giants haven’t fired since moving up to Premier Two.

“We’re a good side, but we haven’t clicked since being promoted. We don’t want to lose and come bottom of the table. That’s not us and nobody’s going to stomach that.”

The make-up of the team for today’s clash is still up in the air, but Feary expected a strong team to take to the diamond, with the experienced duo of Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana and Tony Nixon to share the pitching duties.

“We’ve got the core of the team, but we may have a couple of outfielders still away on holiday. Throughout our team, we should be strong no matter who we field.”

The men’s team will be the only one in action today, with the Hutt Valley women’s competitions not set to resume until January 30, and the junior grades restarting in February.

Meanwhile, 10 Giants junior players have been a hit for Hutt Valley at lower North Island age group tournaments.

Maggie Shields and Destiny Tapara were part of the girls under-15 side who won their tournament, while another eight players were in the two boys’ teams, who finished second and fourth.

“All of our kids had a huge amount of game time, and they weren’t just there to look good, and when you think 10 of them are from Giants, it’s a bloody good effort.



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