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Softball NZ keen to work on White Sox team's progress

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

As players and coaching staff return to their various bases around New Zealand the White Sox women’s softball team can look back at their recent world championship effort of eighth place and feel moderately satisfied.

Making the playoffs, albeit on a count back was the aim of team prior to the tournament, especially since they finished a disappointing 13th at the previous world champs in 2012.

Head coach and former player, Nomi Shaw says that goals are slowly being ticked off for the team.

"The first goal set was to improve the standard of the women's game in New Zealand and the second was to finish in the top eight of the women's world championships by 2014. Improving the standard of the game in New Zealand has happened through exposing a large number of players to the elite standard of softball played in the Softball Australia National League. From 2010 the Sox showed progressive results in this competition. There are also greater number of Kiwis on softball scholarships in the United States where softball is very strong and competitive. This has enabled the best players to be exposed to elite softball and enabled a stronger team to be selected to represent New Zealand."

Shaw also highlights a number of individual players who are excelling around the world and will form the backbone of the White Sox in years to come.

"Several youth players from the 2011 and 2013 New Zealand U19 teams have gone onto be selected in the open women's team and performed considerably well over time. This includes USA based players Te Reo Powhiri Matautia, Taylor Paige Stewart, Kingsley Avery and Ellie Cooper."

Cooper, along with Hutt Valleys Danica Ferriso, US-based Tyneesha Houkamau and Canterbury’s Mikayla Werahiko were stand out junior performers for the Sox in this year’s team. Werahiko and Hawkes Bays Courtney Gettins are still eligible for the 2015 NZ U19 Team.

Auckland seniors Megan Farrell, Jennifer Feret, Katrina Nukunuku, Kyla Bromhead and US based Lara Andrews were also stand out players who performed consistently well throughout the world champs.

Plans are now underway by Softball New Zealand to gain exposure and game time for the White Sox and women’s softball around the country.

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