Talk underdone to Hawke's Bay Dodgers premier women's softball team coach Kevin Gettins, and he nods his head.
"We're probably 12 games down in our preparation through a lack of tournaments compared with this time last year. I'm confident our team culture and team spirit will help compensate," Gettins said, as he pondered Dodgers chances of retaining their national interclub title at the 16-team tournament which begins in Christchurch on Thursday and continues until Sunday.
Gettins saw how underdone his team were when the defending champions were beaten 2-1 by Te Aroha in Sunday's final of Wellington's premier intercity competition. Dodgers scored in the first inning and Te Aroha scored both of their runs in the fifth " off two errors and a hit.
"We had runners on base during all but one of the innings, included a loaded bases situation in the seventh. We couldn't cash in on these while Te Aroha scrapped in with the chances they had," Gettins explained.
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Short stop Brooke Eden, third base Emma Houkamau and first base Allyssa James all collected two hits for Dodgers. While Dodgers are among the top four seeds at their nationals, Hawke's Bay's Central Vikings men will be the 15th seeds at their 22-team nationals, which begin in North Harbour tomorrow and continue until Sunday.