Otago seeking to retain Bates Shield

Otago softball teams will see how they match up against Southland opposition this weekend.
It is, in fact, a bumper couple of days for the sport at Hancock Park.
The premier events are tomorrow, when Otago and Southland provincial teams clash.
Both the men’s and the women’s teams will have a ‘‘friendly’’ game before the main event — the Henderson Shield for the women at 1.30pm, and the Bates Shield for the men at 3pm.
The Otago men are seeking to retain the Bates Shield after winning it last year for the first time since 2009.
At the helm will be a fresh but familiar face.
Matt Watts, one of the three talented brothers to represent the province, has returned from Christchurch and will both coach and catch at the tender age of 25.
‘‘I’m excited, but a little bit nervous,’’ Watts said.
He will look to Jacob Wedlock to lead the pitching staff alongside Devon Robinson and Ryan Silke.
Otago’s key batters are the Oxley brothers (Baden, Patrick and Zach), Brendan Taylor and Ben Foster.
Mark Ahlfeld, who has coached the Otago men for the past three years, crosses over to coach the women for the first time.
He is missing a couple of players through injury and has included three schoolgirls.
Utility player Jo Ammundsen returns after a few years off, and Keisha Togo is a rising talent.
Kaitlyn Hastie is the regular pitcher for Otago with back-up from Ahlfeld’s daughter, Marissa, while Teah Price and Katie Smith will lead the batting.
Otago competed well against Southland last year before losing 2-0.
Today, the leading clubs from the two provinces will clash in the first round of the Southern Challenge Cup.
Further rounds will be on November 27 (Invercargill) and February 19 (Dunedin) before finals in Invercargill on March 12.

 

 

 

Otago softball squads

Men: Christian Amos, Dan Cowles, Ben Foster, Logan Herbert, Nathan Hill, Caleb Leddie, James Mathieson, Baden Oxley, Patrick Oxley, Zach Oxley, Devon Robinson, Ryan Silke, Brendan Taylor, Matt Watts, Jacob Wedlock.
Women: Marissa Ahlfeld, Jo Ammundsen, Kate Brewerton, Tessa Brown, Wendy Clinch, Zillah Conder, Kirsty Currie, Kaitlyn Hastie, Courtney Milne, Teah Price, Katie Smith, Keisha Togo. Marissa Ahlfeld, Jo Ammundsen, Kate Brewerton, Tessa Brown, Wendy Clinch, Zillah Conder, Kirsty Currie, Kaitlyn Hastie, Courtney Milne, Teah Price, Katie Smith, Keisha Togo.

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