Tweed players hit right pitch

THERE was a Tweed connection to the gold medal performance of the Australian men's softball team which took out the 12th IFS Men's World Championship in Canada last week.

Nick Shailes and Dave Metakingi, who played in the Tweed District Softball Association last season, were part of the Aussie Steelers who powered to a 5-0 victory over New Zealand in the final.

Last season, Shailes played for the Sharks while Metakingi helped the Koalas to a grand final, pitching the season finale for his side.

To have two players on the national team is a great boost for softball on the Tweed and should provide plenty of incentive for younger players of the game.

The Steelers played off their competitors' weaknesses in the second innings when Shailes scored off a New Zealand error.

The lead was extended by Shailes again in the fourth innings when he scored on a hit by Jeff Goolagong.

The team continued to play well with a home run by Aaron Cockman in the sixth innings sealing the deal.

Australia's win at the World Championship is their first at open men's fast pitch level, as the team had to defeat 16 other countries, including the USA, host nation Canada and defending champions New Zealand.

It would have been the fourth straight World Championship title for the New Zealander's had Australia not beaten them.

- Caitlin Duffie



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