Giants Blue will be the only team to taste action on the diamond today in another frustrating weekend for Masterton’s Giants Softball Club.
The Blues will host Cardinals in what is shaping as a blockbuster clash in the combined Hutt Valley Premier Reserve – Premier Two Championship.
However, Giants Red will sit on the sidelines with no games scheduled in the Premier Three competition, a baffling scenario considering last weekend’s first round was cancelled because of rain and today could have been used as a catch-up day.
If it weren’t for the Giants Kuripuni Tavern Classic tournament on Wellington Anniversary Weekend, the Reds would not have had a game since December 9.
The Giants women have fared worse, though, and have now gone 10 weeks without a game after today’s home game against Dodgers Divas being won by default. That is the third time this season and the second weekend in a row that the women have won without a pitch being thrown, although last weekend’s match would not have gone ahead because of the competition-wide cancellation.
Defaults have been a continual frustration for the Giants club for many seasons, especially with teams travelling over the hill to play at South Park, with some seemingly having a blanket policy of refusing to do so.
Questions must be asked if Hutt Valley and Intercity Softball are doing enough to prevent the continual defaults and whether the teams are getting a fair bang for their buck for the affiliation fees of nearly $2000 a premier men’s team.
On the diamond, today’s game at South Park should be a doozy between Intercity Premier Two runners-up Giants Blue and Cardinals, who are the unbeaten runaway leaders in the Hutt Valley Midweek League.
Giants Chris Feary expects the game to go to the wire.
“It will be a really hard-fought battle, and it will probably come down to the pitchers,” Feary said.
“Giants have been pretty strong in the batters’ box, and if [pitcher] ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana can keep them to minimal hits and the boys can defend well, it should close fought, and there will only be a couple of runs in it.”
Although pitching and fielding may be their strength, Feary reckons the Blues’ batting order cannot be underestimated.
“There’s nobody that has stood out as a big hitter, but there’s a lot of contact hitters, and some of the guys are so quick on base, they’re stealing bases and working hit and run plays, and they can put a lot of pressure on the fielders with their base running.”
The first pitch will be thrown at 3.30 pm.