Softball: Julian lauds young gun's effort

By Shane Hurndell

Centre outfielder Dallas Brown was the toast of the Hawke's Bay contingent after the North Island under-15 boys softball tournament ended in Papakura yesterday.

Brown was the sole Bay player to make the paper-only tournament team after Hawke's Bay finished third.

The Ainsley Kara-Jesse Steffert-coached Bay team beat North Harbour 4-3 in their playoff for third after earlier losing 7-1 to the same side in the last game of their top four round robin.

"We gave a lot of our second stringers game time in the first game," Bay scorer Vicky Julian said.

Three Bay players, pitcher Adam Woon, utility Tridan Russell-McClutchie and 11-year-old second baseman Te Kahika Thompson, made the rest side.

"Te Kahika was my choice for our player-of-the-tournament. For one so young he has huge potential... we ended up putting him at second in our batting order because he was so good," Julian said.

On Saturday, Hawke's Bay lost 7-2 to Auckland and 4-3 to Wellington in their other top four round robin games.

Hawke's Bay-raised three-time world champion with the Black Sox Tom Makea jnr coached Wellington to a second consecutive title in this age group with a 6-5 win against Auckland in the final.

The Hawke's Bay under-15 girls finished winless and last at their North Island tournament, which ended in Wellington yesterday. In the playoff for the wooden spoon, the Ken Price-coached Bay team lost 13-7 to Counties-Manukau.

On Saturday, Hawke's Bay were pipped 14-13 by Counties-Manukau after earlier losing 9-2 to Brisbane team Springwood.

"I had no problem with the quality of our batting and base running. But throughout the entire tournament we leaked far too many basic errors and our decision making on defence was poor," Price said.

His tournament highlight was the fact his younger players were not daunted when given the opportunity.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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