Softball: Fast Pitch end fourth

By Shane Hurndell

Fast Pitch premier men's softball side's manager Craig Waterhouse's iPhone emails were flowing fast at the weekend and the bloke had every right to be excited.

Fast Pitch became the first Hawke's Bay side in 16 years to reach the semifinals of the prestigious Vic Guth tournament in Auckland. In their semifinal yesterday Fast Pitch lost 3-0 to Northcote.

"Our fourth placing has been a huge confidence booster for the rest of the summer. We'll be aiming for a top four finish in the Wellington intercity competition and should we continue this form we can be a force at the March interclubs in Christchurch," Waterhouse said.

Fast Pitch reached the semifinals with a 2-1 win against Canterbury side Papanui on Sunday night. Former Junior Black Sox outfielder Rongo Rapaea scored on a hit from infielder Curtis Huata which bounced over the fence. Two innings later Rapaea scored again on a hit from his brother and infielder Puhi Rapaea.

In pool play Fast Pitch beat last year's national club champions Auckland United 1-0, lost to Hutt Valley Dodgers 3-2, lost to Howick 3-2, beat Waitakere Bears 2-1 and Auckland Ramblers.

Jordan Waterhouse pitched the win against Auckland United. Huata scored Fast Pitch's run on an illegal pitch called on Samoa pitcher Thomas Enoka.

Against Howick, Lachie Hook smashed an automatic home run with Rongo Rapaea on base.

In the Bears game, Isaac Fletcher, the partner of White Sox pitcher Michal Tangaroa, hit an automatic for the Bears and Regan Manley repeated the feat for Fast Pitch to tie the score. In the tiebreaker, Bears failed to score and Rongo Rapaea scored on another hit from his brother.

This was the Bears' only loss in pool play.

Former Hawke's Bay age-group representative and Junior Black Sox pitcher John Hireme pitched for Ramblers against Fast Pitch.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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