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Black Sox dominant at Challenge Cup

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/02/2017

New Zealand have romped through three games to remain unbeaten at the midway point of the Challenge Cup men's softball tournament in Auckland.

After blitzing world No.3 Argentina 10-1 and the Czech Republic 7-0, the Black Sox closed day two on Thursday with an 8-1 dissection of Australia.

With the scores locked 1-1 after two innings, the tournament hosts took control with six runs in the third, building around a three-run blow struck by Cole Evans.

It was another explosive batting effort from New Zealand, backed up by Wellington pitcher Nik Hayes, who gave up just two hits in five innings.

New Zealand, building for the defence of their world championship title this year in Canada, have dominated the first round of the six-nation tournament, winning all of their first five games by at least five runs.

An eight-run fifth innings display broke open a tense affair against Argentina.

Coach Mark Sorenson was pleased with the widespread contribution from his players.

"We're really trying to work hard to play a collective team game, where everybody is working for each other," he said.

"Once we can break the dam a little bit, we want to make sure there's a full tidal wave that can come through and we're getting our runs in bunches."

The second round of matches begins at Rosedale Park on Thursday, with New Zealand facing Samoa and Japan.

The finals are on Sunday.

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