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Pride on the line – Giants on a mission

‘Chunky’ Karaitiana missed the last game with an Achilles strain. PHOTOS/FILE

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Salvaging some pride and finishing the season with two wins is the Giants’ aim in what has been a disappointing Intercity premier two championship campaign.

Giants play Island Bay today at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt, and Hutt Valley Marist next weekend to conclude their season.

After going unbeaten in the pre-Christmas premier three competition, winning most games by big margins, Giants have failed to register a win from four games since their promotion, although two of the losses, to Demons and Cardinals Red, have been by solitary runs.

“They’re games that we should have been good enough to take, but just luck or whatever it was, wasn’t on our side, so we’ll definitely be going hard at Island Bay this weekend,” said team member and president Chris Feary.

“There are going to be some very unhappy people if we don’t win a game because it would be the first time Giants would have gone through without a win if we don’t win one of these two games.”

Island Bay have had one victory from four games, against the winless Marist, and Giants should rate their chances, although Feary said he knew little about the opposition.

“I know Richie Grant is pitching for them, and he’s been pitching for them for several years, and he’s still going well. They’re holding their own – it’s going to be another battle for us.”

Feary was unsure of the Giants line-up but was hopeful that first choice pitcher Justin’ Chunky’ Karaitiana has recovered sufficiently from an Achilles tendon injury to take his place.

Maggie Shields … pitched Hutt Valley to the national Under-13 girls’ title.

In other grades, Giants Blue remain on target for the Hutt Valley Major B women’s championship semifinals but face a tough challenge against bitter rivals Stokes Valley today at Fraser Park.

They will also want a different outcome from the last time the two teams met when Giants blew an 8-0 lead to finish with an 8-8 draw.

Giants Red have a great chance to secure their fourth win of the championship, against the winless Saints at Whakatiki Street, Upper Hutt.

Giants juniors also continue to shine on the representative scene.

Maggie Shields, Zion Tapara, and Bailey Cox all played big parts in the Hutt Valley side that won the national girls Under-13 championship in Auckland.

Twelve-year-old Shields pitched every game, except one dead rubber. She was named Hutt Valley’s MVP and was rated one of the tournament’s best players.

In today’s games, the Under-15s will play Totara Park away, and the Under-13s will host Saints Whero.

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