Giants Blue again showed they can match it with the big clubs in Hutt Valley softball, going down 3–1 to Hutt City United [HCU] in a close, exciting premier reserve-premier two championship game in very windy conditions at Fraser Park on Saturday.
The Blues started well against an HCU side, which included some premier one players, and took a 1–0 lead after their first turn at bat.
HCU equalised in the next inning and scored further runs in the third inning and their last turn at bat to wrap up the victory.
A feature of the match was the pitching dual between Giants player-coach Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana, who took 11 strikeouts, and HCU’s Danton Sievers, who stuck out nine batters.
In the end, though, fielding errors proved the difference, with the Blues coughing up two and HCU perfect in the field, giving up no errors.
HCU had six safe hits, while Giants had four safe hits – two to Sean Robinson and one each to Kortez Paku and Jason Herangi. It was a fast game with good, aggressive base running from both sides and attracted a good-sized crowd.
The Giants women finally got on the diamond after 11 weeks without any softball and came up against a Petone Rugby team that included several players who had played at premier level. That experience told as Petone pulled away for a 14–7 victory.
The Giants under-13s scored an impressive 9–3 win over Dodgers at South Park.