SCOOP Olympic Update, Monday 18 September, 2000
SCOOP Olympic Update, Monday, 18 September, 2000
Article: Mathew Loh
FINALLY after the disappointments of Hamish Carter and Sarah Ulmer New Zealanders were given something to cheer about when the White Sox pulled off an inspirational come-from-behind 3-2 victory in a must-win game against Canada.
Despite giving up seven errors and playing dreadful defensive softball in the first two innings' - which allowed Canada to notch up two early runs - the White Sox, on the back of legendary pitcher Gina Weber, came back to force extra time and eventually win.
Standing tall on the mound the indimadating veteran Weber looked like a giant human windmill as she hurled the softball toward her Canadian opponents.
With Weber in this sort of form the White Sox are a difficult team to score against but even Weber's skill wasn't enough in the opening couple of innings where the Kiwi infield resembled 'keystone cops' as they fumbled and fudged their way to allowing the Canadians to take a 2-1 lead.
However with big 'G' in tremendous touch and coach Mike Walsh motivating his charges the White Sox revealed a fighting quality, which will hold them in good stead in the battle for medals, to battle back to 2-2 with Jackie Smith scoring one run and hitting a RBI to bring in Melanie Hume to send the game to extra innings'.
Then with Weber continuing to dominate - she only gave up four hits in 10 innings - the White Sox upped the pressure and when Lise Upu ran in to take the score to 3-2 it was up to Weber to pitch for the game.
And the giant half Czech-half Maori pitcher proved her world-beating talents remain by holding out the best of the Canadian batters to ensure New Zealand celebrated a crucial 3-2 victory.