10 Feb 2017

Sport: Samoa softballers hold on for first win

9:14 am on 10 February 2017

Samoa held on to register their first win at the Challenge Cup softball tournament in dramatic fashion, edging the Czech Republic 6-5 in Auckland last night.

The Tanifa were well beaten by Australia and hosts New Zealand on day one, and failed to score a run in losses against Japan and Argentina.

But Gene Robinson got the scoring off to a fast start, making his way round the bases for an early 1-0 lead.

The lead increased to 4-0 in the third inning, with Robinson, Josh Niu and Kevin Cannons all crossing home plate.

The Czechs surged back into contention, smashing five runs to take the lead in the sixth inning before Samoa tied it up with a second from Kevin Cannons.

Josh Niu gave them the go-ahead score in the seventh inning before clinching victory, when Jiri Korcak was called out at home plate on the final play of the game when attempting to score an in the park home run to tie the match.

Samoa player-coach Duane Jerard at bat during the 2004 World Championships.

Samoa player-coach Duane Jerard at bat during the 2004 World Championships. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Player coach Duane Jerard says after four defeats getting that first win means everything.

"There were a lot of emotions going on in the dugout - I'll tell you that," he said.

"To get that first start, that first win under your belt and then to try and progress from that point - we're a little country with very little resources so we're trying to showcase what we have.

"We've got a couple of players that are playing for other teams at the moment we're hoping that they don't get selected in that side so they can join us.

"But it's going to be hard for us for the World Series - it's a lot of money and for a little country we don't have a lot - so we're going to have to really try and find some sponsors and get involved in that side, to get to the next stage as well."

Samoa are back in action today against Australia and New Zealand once again.