Softball: Junior White Sox stumble at world champs

New Zealand have suffered a shock 6-5 loss to Great Britain at the ISF junior women's world softball championship today and now face a huge challenge to qualify for the tournament playoffs.

Trailing 6-2 heading into the final inning, the Junior White Sox rallied furiously to score three runs with two runners still on base.

But Ellie Cooper hit into a double play that ended the game at 6-5.

The British took a two-run lead in the first inning and although the Kiwis immediately matched that, they fell behind when they conceded four in the third.

That deficit proved too large to overcome.

Hawkes Bay pitcher Courtney Gettins suffered the loss, allowing six hits and six runs, with two strikeouts in her 2.1 innings.

Aucklander Beth Stavert replaced Gettins in the third inning and pitched five strikeouts without further scoring.

Cooper was New Zealand's best batter, with two hits, a run and another batted in from her four appearances.

With Venezuela's withdrawal, the Kiwis benefited from a forfeit and now have a 2-1 record, with matches to come against unbeaten United States, Korea and Canada.

At 3.30am tomorrow, they face Czech Republic - who were 13-0 losers to USA today - and then the Koreans at 9am.

- APNZ

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