Steelers ready for tougher challenges ahead

Joshua White slides into second base during the World Championship game against Hong Kong. Picture: Maddy Flanagan

Steelers ready for tougher challenges ahead

The Aussie Steelers breezed through their final pool game at the XV Men’s Softball World Championship — but now the hard work begins.

Facing Hong Kong, the Steelers took an early lead and never looked back, winning 10-0 in four innings to ensure a top four finish in Pool A with a 5-2 win-loss record and a double chance heading into the cross-over games.

Their next challenge is bound to be much tougher — against arch-rivals New Zealand.

Head Coach Laing Harrow says the Steelers will need to be at their best against New Zealand and whoever comes along for the rest of the tournament.

“Our mindset will be the same whoever we play. We need to be ready to compete and raise our level of play for seven innings,” Barlow said after the Hong Kong game.

“If it happens to be New Zealand, we will look forward to the cross-Tasman encounter once again, knowing they will be at their best.”

Against Hong Kong, Australian pitchers Jarryd Farrell and Harri Peters combined for a perfect game, with neither allowing a hit or a walk.

Farrell, Josh McGovern, Julian Jemmott and Lewis Weldon all hit home runs as the Steelers combined for seven hits, five walks and 10 RBIs.