Hawke's Bay's New Zealand White Sox softball catcher Melanie Gettins has done it again.
A month after being named Most Valuable Player when helping Canterbury win the National Fastpitch Championship in Christchurch, Gettins was named Most Valuable Player after Hawke's Bay Dodgers won the national women's interclub title at North Harbour's Rosedale Park yesterday. In their ninth win from as many games at the four-day nationals, Dodgers beat the only other previously unbeaten team, the West Auckland Magpies, 7-3 in the final.
"This was pretty special as Mum was in the last Hawke's Bay team to win this title, the Whakatu Lions, back in 1985," Gettins explained, referring to her mother and former White Sox infielder Charmaine Gettins, who was assistant coach of the Dodgers side, which was coached by her hubby and Junior White Sox head coach Kevin Gettins.
"Then when Courtney and I were both named in the White Sox team for the August World Series in the Netherlands ... well that was the icing on the cake. Courtney is only 17," Gettins said, referring to her sister, who was named top pitcher at the 18-team nationals.
A White Sox player since 2006, Melanie Gettins will be playing at her third senior World Series in the Netherlands after playing in Venezuela in 2010 and Canada in 2012. Like her father, Gettins, who played in seven-and-a-half of the games, was full of praise for the entire 14-strong Dodgers squad.
"It was a great team effort. Beating Waitakere Bears, the defending champions, 7-1 on Thursday was the key. They had another of the White Sox pitchers, Megan Farrell, on the mound," Gettins, 24, said.
In their only games on Saturday, Dodgers beat Hutt Valley Saints 2-0 and Te Aroha 6-0. In the final, Dodgers trailed 2-0 after the first inning.
Dodgers scored six runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth before Magpies scored their final run in the seventh inning.
Gettins, who batted two runners in, and American short stop Marisa Newman both hit doubles while American first base player Allyssa James batted a runner in.
Two of Dodgers runs in the fourth inning came from consecutive squeeze play hits from former White Sox infielder Angela Stubbs and Junior White Sox utility Emma Houkamau.
"To have a team from the provinces win this title is good for New Zealand softball. It's been at least 20 years since a team outside of Canterbury, Auckland, Hutt Valley or Wellington has won it," coach Kevin Gettins said.
His biggest challenge now will be getting his youngest daughter, 2013 Ngati Kahungunu Junior Sportswoman of the Year, Courtney, time away from her Iona College commitments for the Junior White Sox trip to Canada in July as well as the August World Series.
Former Hawke's Bay pitcher Michal Tangaroa, who now plays for Waitakere Bears, will also be on the White Sox World Series pitching staff.
Meanwhile, Hawke's Bay's Wellington-based four-time world champion and retired Black Sox legend Thomas Makea was one of three players to share the top batter award. Auckland United's Ben Enoka and Auckland Ramblers were the others.
Makea was playing for Poneke Kilbirnie, who finished third at the national men's interclubs in Lower Hutt. The Gettins sisters' brother, Josh Gettins, also played for Poneke Kilbirnie. Auckland Ramblers beat Auckland United 9-3 in the men's final
Hawke's Bay representatives Fast Pitch were winless in Lower Hutt. On Saturday they lost 4-3 to Howick, 11-4 to Bears and 4-2 to Otahuhu.
Cyclone Lusi's stormy weather conditions reduced the number of games played at the national Evergreens tournament in Tauranga during the weekend. In their only game on Saturday, Hawke's Bay lost 12-4 to Horowhenua.
Yesterday they beat Hutt Valley 9-0 and Marlborough 15-0.