Softball champ in international
By now Jachan Roberts is back at school facing Level One NCEA external exams, but during the holidays he experienced playing softball in Australia.
From the presentation of his New Zealand Under 15 Developing Sox blazer and his number 19 which will stay with him throughout his New Zealand career, to playing in the Under 17 Queensland State Championships final, it was one huge experience and he wants more.
Jachan plays for Huia Softball Club in Palmerston North, making its top Chief’s team, and has been selected for Manawatu¯ since he was 11, attending Palmerston North Boys High and making the NZ Developing Sox Softball team.
His representative experience for New Zealand did not start too well with an asthma attack which put him in Mackay hospital for four hours until he stabilised in the heat and humidity of the Gold Coast.
From there he was able to play in the warm-up games against Mackay Under 17 and Mackay Senior men under lights the next evening.
New Zealand won comfortably, boosting the team’s confidence for the competition which started the next day on September 22.
Playing three games a day New Zealand dealt comfortably with all its opponents except Redlands, the tournament winners for the last two years. In a match which went to overtime New Zealand lost 5-6 but went on unbeaten in its remaining round matches, coming up against Toowoomba in the semi-final.
Toowoomba had the NZ Under 17 pitcher playing for it but despite being fast, the team won 9-4, repeating its earlier win over the team 11-2.
New Zealand met Redlands again in the final. Early mistakes cost the team and despite rallying it lost, to place second overall.
For Jachan it was a great experience fielding in the left and right outfields where his strong arm and knowledge of the plays brought some good runouts. At bat he was a designated batter, brought in out of position when bases were loaded.
Against Toowoomba he hit a home run bringing home three runners but against Redlands with the first game close he was walked by the pitcher, depriving him of that opportunity.
Back home he has already played for Huia Reserves in the first game of the season but was frustrated by a default from the Chiefs’ opponents.
His aim is to make the NZ Under 17 Emerging Sox by doing well in the December Regional Championships, but in the meantime he has a camp run by the Black Sox later this month.
Jachan Roberts home in Woodville wears the NZ Under 15 Developing Sox Travelling Uniform.