Hawke's Bay's Tiwana Aranui smashed an automatic home run as the Junior Black Sox maintained their unbeaten run at the Junior World Softball Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada yesterday.
The Temperzone Junior Black Sox, who are coached by Hawke's Bay's four-time world champion Thomas Makea, and the United States were 0-all when Maraenui Pumas utility Aranui opened the scoring with his automatic in the fifth inning. New Zealand went on to win the game 4-1.
Aranui started the game at short stop and the previous day took the diamond as a substitute second baseman when the Kiwis opened their tournament campaign with a 5-1 win against Australia. Before this game Aranui, a son of former Junior Black Sox manager Roger Aranui, had the honour of leading the team's haka.
The Napier Boys' High School student is the first Puma to be selected for a World Championship.
Captain Vincent Harris from Waikato began the transtasman contest by clearing the fence for an automatic home run on just the third pitch of the game. Wellington's Te Kahui Bishop also hit an automatic home run later in the game.
The Junior Black Sox are scheduled to play Denmark today. This will be the third of nine round robin games they play before the playoffs.
Coach Makea's son Dante Matakatea had stints at second base and short stop during the weekend, is a grandson of Hawke's Bay's 10-time national title-winning coach Tom Makea.