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Giants sparkle on the diamond

Rachel Paku lines up a hit in Giants’ 17-0 thrashing of WASC at South Park. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

SOFTBALL

The Giants were on fire on the diamond on Saturday, winning three from three.

Giants Blue kicked off their Intercity Premier Two Championship with a come-from-behind 4-3 defeat of Demons, while Giants Red strolled to a 12-0 win over Demons in Premier Three, and the Giants women demolished WASC [the defence forces’ Wellington Area Sports Club] 17-0.

The Blues were behind early in their encounter at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt with Demons taking a 2-0 lead before former Junior Black Sox Blair Thompson hit an automatic home run to level the scores.

The home side then brought a runner home for a 3-2 lead, meaning the Blues had to score in their final turn at bat in the top of the seventh inning to keep the game alive.

Player-coach ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana hit an automatic home run to seal victory for Giants Blue. PHOTO/FILE

Demons intentionally walked dangerman Thompson, but that brought player-coach Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana to the plate. The big hitter connected, sending the ball over the fence for a 4-3 lead.

Karaitiana then pitched a superb final inning to secure two valuable points.

Giants Red player Chris Feary watched the game and said the impact of Thompson was evident in his first game back for the club after several seasons playing premier one softball for Hutt Valley Dodgers.

“It was a good first-up game for the boys, and it was a close game,” Feary said.

“You could see the influence of Blair in the team talking to the players when they made mistakes.

“It was just a good all-round effort for their first game, remembering Hutt Valley also play midweek and all of the teams down there have already played three or four games.”

There were no such dramas in the Giants Red 12-0 win in four innings over Demons in Intercity Premier Three at Whakatiki Street, Upper Hutt.

The Reds batted first and took control from the outset, scoring four runs in their first turn at bat.

Feary said that took the wind out of Demons’ sails and they never recovered.

“Demons were basically three up and three down and it wasn’t until their fourth turn at bat that they got back to the top of the order, and they might have had one safe hit.”

Although none of the Reds hit home runs, Matt Kawana hit two triples, while the rest of the batters connected and found the gaps in the field.

“There was no real standout, the whole team all did their job, and it was a real team effort.

“It was good for us because we got to play all of our players, so the guys on the bench got out there and had game time.”

The Giants women were also in dominant form, thrashing WASC 17-0 at South Park for their first win in the Hutt Valley Premier Three Championship.

Coach Greg Paku said it was an awesome effort by the women, particularly after they suffered an agonising last-inning defeat to Te Aroha in their first game the previous weekend.

“We played well in the field with only one error, which is pretty much why we kept them scoreless,” Paku said.

“We dominated in batting, and Rachel Paku’s base running was outstanding with a few steals and a batting average of 750 with three safe hits to the outfield, and Alex Waitere also batted 750 and had three safe hits.”

The softballers will take a break next weekend with no scheduled softball during Labour Weekend.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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