Porirua softballers strike form
The seventh inning got Les Bishop’s heart racing on Saturday.
The Porirua City United premier men’s softball coach watched as his side built up a commanding 9-2 lead over Miramar in the intercity competition at the Polo Ground. The performance was built on outstanding hitting from Rick Manson — who had two home runs and a double — and solid pitching from Johnson Rauhihi.
Then Miramar piled on four runs in the seventh and things got a little tense, with Miramar’s Black Sox hitter Wayne Laulu flexing his muscles. ‘‘We’d done the hard work and were in control,’’ Bishop said. ‘‘Johnson had been pitching very well.
‘‘He gave up a few hits in this game at the end and I was a little nervous, but the boys stayed on top. It was a good win for us.’’
The victory leaves Porirua in second in the intercity standings with a 5-1 record, behind a dominant Poneke-Kilbirnie side. Porirua lost to them only 4-3 in a nailbiter a few weeks back, which Bishop said was encouraging.
He said his was a young side in a transitional period.
‘‘The league’s not as strong as it has been. Many clubs are rebuilding,’’ he said.
‘‘We have three players under 17 and three or four new players to the club.
‘‘Playing at this level is going to be great for them. We’re good across the park and if we continue to improve, we should be in that top four.’’
Rauhihi had an excellent combination going with catcher and cousin Quentin Rauhihi, and the experience of Gene Lutton and Hazley Martin served them well, Bishop said.
He tipped Dodgers as the other team to watch.
Johnson Rauhihi shows his style for Porirua City United on Saturday.
Aiming high: Porirua City United pitcher Bailey Macdonald goes for the big hit during his side’s win over Miramar.