05/12/2021 - 12/12/2021

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U-18 Women's Softball World Cup 2021 - Official Payoff

Softball New Zealand Women’s National Team in action this weekend, games broadcast by Sky Sport

Softball New Zealand Women’s National Team in action this weekend, games broadcast by Sky Sport
The White Sox, New Zealand A and the Junior White Sox will play a double round-robin series from 24-26 October at Auckland’s Rosedale Park in their first group activity since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Zealand Women’s Softball National Team, the 'White Sox', will play a six-game series this weekend, split into three different teams: the White Sox, New Zealand A and the Junior National Team. The three squads will play a double round-robin.

It will be a key opportunity for head coach Roman Gabriel to steer the nation's top softball players following a shutdown in activity due to COVID-19.

New Zealand is starting a long-term development process under Gabriel, as the nation aims to qualify for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, where softball (and baseball) could potentially be featured on the official Olympic programme.

“It’s been a long time coming but finally we are able to get together as a full squad. I am very happy we have this opportunity to see our athletes play. From our under 18's to our full White Sox squad,” said Gabriel, a former men’s softball world champion in 2004. “I think there should be some good games.” 

Fourteen women have been selected for the White Sox and a further 13 players to the NZ 'A Team'. Meanwhile the Junior White Sox will feature 17 of New Zealand’s best up-and-coming talent. 

Gabriel also named Lara Andrews as national team captain, with Rebecca Bromhead serving as vice-captain.

“I think these two will lead our squad to the next level,” Gabriel said.

New Zealand's Junior National Team qualified for next year's WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup in Lima, Peru, which is set for 27 March to 4 April 2021. The tournament was originally scheduled for 2020, but it had to be postponed due to the coronavirus.

Kiri Shaw, a former Sydney 2000 Olympian, is the head coach of the junior team. She said: “This has been hard for our young girls mentally...We’ve been training [in groups] regionally for quite some time now… but we’re super excited to finally come together and play some ball. For us, it’s a time to reset and kickstart what will be a four-or-five-month journey towards the world championships because we’re remaining positive that it will happen.”

The rosters for the weekend series are:

New Zealand White Sox

Tyla Morrison, Kyla Bromhead, Mereana Makea, Krysta Hoani, Tyneesha Houkamau (Auckland), Otila Tavite, Pallas Potter, Ashley Johnston, Lara Andrews (C), Mikayla Lewin (Hutt Valley), Amy Begg, Nerissa McDowell, Mikayla Werahiko, Lucy McIntyre (Canterbury)

New Zealand A

Loran Parker, Brooke Whiteman, Ashley Scott, Rebecca Bromhead (C), Tenille Auimatagi, Pearl-Marli Waetford (Auckland), Denva Shaw-Tait, Yvonne Burgess, Erin Blackmore, Nanaia Matangi (Hutt Valley), Emma Francis, Hope Weber (Wellington), Brittany Terrey (Canterbury).

New Zealand Junior White Sox

Megan Sneddon, Maddison Gerbes, Shyah Hale, Lily Neilsen, Mikayla Cross, Meeki Cooper Nicole, Kiara Lei-lani Taimai, Innika Lambert-Hapuku (Auckland), Lace Tangianau, Caitlyn Lewin, Maarire Puketapu, Kimihia Tangianau, Kiri Winiata-Enoka (Hutt Valley), Beyoncé Rehutai, Shyann Wairau (Wellington), Cherie Inwood, Alyssa Lory (Canterbury).