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New Zealand beat Australia 6-4 in the final of the World Softball Championships in Canada to claim seventh title

17 July 2017 1:21 AM
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New Zealand are the men's softball world champions for the fifth time in just 21 years, defeating Australia 6-4 in Monday's final (NZT).

A star turn from Joel Evans at the bottom of the sixth separated the two sides, with the Kiwi homering spectacularly beyond left field - sending himself, Joshua Harbrow, Kallan Compain and Wayne Laula home.

From there, the seventh inning was a mere formality, with pitcher Nikki Hayes removing the Australians for just one run and leaving them stranded at 6-4.

The victory caps off a near-flawless tournament for the Black Sox, who regain the world title they last won on home soil in 2013.

Losing just one pool match to Venezuela, Mark Sorenson's troops breezed through their first post-section match against Australia 6-2 and then edged hosts Canada 12-11 in a thriller to make the final.

Once there, the Australians put up a genuine fight, leading 3-2 by the end of the fifth inning and threatening an upset.

But then Evans stepped up in the sixth, with bases loaded and two strikes already against his side, and played the hero.


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