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New Zealand names squad for WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup 2020 in Lima, Peru

New Zealand names squad for WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup 2020 in Lima, Peru
16/03/2020
Softball New Zealand head coach Kiri Shaw confirmed the roster of players that will represent New Zealand in Lima, Peru.

World No. 16 New Zealand named the 16-athlete roster for the first-ever WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup, slated to be played at Villa Maria del Triunfo complex in Lima, Peru, from 23-30 August. The Junior White Sox will be amongst 15 countries that will compete in Lima For the Title of World Champion in softball's U-18 bracket.

The Kiwi selection process included a series of local and national tournaments like the open National Championship in Hutt Valley, which gathered the best players in the country.   

"This was an extremely tough team to select," said Shaw, who competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, "but it was a good problem to have. Consistency, versatility, attitude and improvement were the basis of our final 16 women roster for the World Cup." 

New Zealand will play against No. 1 USA, No. 2 Japan, No. 3 Canada, No. 4 Puerto Rico, No. 5 Mexico, No. 6 Chinese Taipei, No. 7 China, No. 8 Australia, No. 9 Netherlands, No. 10 Italy, No. 11 Philippines, No. 12 Czech Republic and No. 19 Peru (host) in the U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup, the first edition of this event replacing the U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup. Two teams from Africa will also join the field of teams.

New Zealand U-18 Women’s National Team 2020

Pitchers
Hineawe Crawford (Hutt Valley)
Cherie Inwood (Canterbury)
Aroha Munroe (South Australia)
Megan Sneddon (Auckland)

Catchers
Kiara Taimai (Auckland)
Kimihia Tangianau (Hutt Valley) 

Infield
Maddison Gerbes (Auckland)
Caitlyn Lewin (Hutt Valley)
Alyssa Lory (Canterbury)
Lily Neilsen (Counties Manukau)
Beyonce Rehutai (Wellington)
Lace Tangianau (Hutt Valley)

Outfield
Mikayla Cross (Auckland)
Maarire Puketapu (Hutt Valley)
Beth Reid (Auckland)
Kiri Winiata-Enoka (Hutt Valley)

Non-Travelling Reserves
Shyann Wairau (Wellington)
Chloe Rayner (USA)
Shyah Hale (Auckland)
Stella Jorgenson (Canterbury)
Erenora Hetet-Hauwaho (Hutt Valley)
Manaia Makiri (Canterbury)

After missing the first two editions of the Junior Women’s Softball World Championships in Edmonton (CAN) and Fargo (USA), New Zealand played the last 11 youth global events. They made their debut in 1987 in Oklahoma City, when the Junior White Sox finished in the eighth place with a 2-7 record.

New Zealand has never won a medal in this age bracket. Their best finish was a fourth place in Brampton, Canada, in 2013. The Kiwis finished as Group A’s second place with a 5-2 record, after wins over Puerto Rico, Czech Republic, Korea, Canada and Venezuela (forfeit), and losses against Great Britain and USA. In the playoffs stage, New Zealand lost to Japan, 4-1, rebounded with a 5-4 victory over Puerto Rico, but then was eliminated by arch-rivals Australia, by a score of 9-1.

New Zealand finished in ninth place at the WBSC U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup last year in Irvine, California, USA. After having been eliminated in the Opening Round with a record of 1-2, the Kiwis went on to sweep the Placement Round to finish with an overall win-loss record of 4-2.