Jesse Newman scored an in-field home run. PHOTO/FILE

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Giant locked in a home semifinal with a 12-0 thrashing of Hutt Valley Dodgers in the Intercity Premier Three Championship at South Park on Saturday.

The batting line-up continued their good form, showing little respect to the Dodgers’ pitchers, regularly finding space in the outfield and forcing errors.

Four automatic home runs to Terry Waitere, Rob Burns, and Mark Fricker, and in-field home run to Jesse Newman, his first home run of the season, capped off a dominant batting display.

Veteran pitcher Tony Nixon was also on song conceding only three safe hits, as the game was all over in four innings in 75 minutes.

The win gives them a home semifinal probably against Tawa, who Giants beat 19-0 on February 15.

Giants’ president and team member Chris Feary hoped the game would be played on Saturday.

“The semifinal is scheduled for March 7 but we have dispensation because of the national evergreens’ tournament in Nelson.

“So, we’re hoping to play the game on Saturday, otherwise we might have to play midweek after we get back from tournament, and then the final would be played the following Saturday,” he said.

The Giants’ Premier Reserve team had a disappointing end to their season with a win by default over Hutt Valley Dodgers.

Giants had only the one win in the second round of the championship, were out of semifinal contention, and were keen to redeem themselves in the final hit-out on their home ground.

But for Dodgers to simply pull out of the game is surely unacceptable at this level of competition, which is only one step below the Intercity Premier League.

Giants have just reason to feel aggrieved with a default and should be asking tough questions of Intercity organisers, although one suspects their protests will fall on deaf ears.

Giants’ prospects of making the semifinals in the Hutt Valley Major B women’s championship disappeared with a 2-12 loss to the Stokes Valley Beez.