Porirua soft­ballers strike form

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Pho­tos: ROSS GI­B­LIN

Pitch per­fect:

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.

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