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The first game of softball in the major league match in Invercargill between Collegiate and Panthers in 1960 was exciting and produced great softball when they played at Newman Park in Gore. Collegiate eventually won 6-4 but this did not come easy....
Barry Patton for Panther's pitched extremely well, even with a wet ball, but lost the momentum in the 7th innings which saw Collegiate get two walks. Alan Craig who had moved to short-stop from third base late in the game, conceded two errors which helped Collegiate to win the game.
Collegiate had another let off when, Terry Butson, who was playing his first game for Panthers - after being transferred from Blue Sox, smashed a pitch high over centre field for a home run. Panthers was denied the run as Terry did not touch 2nd base on his way round.
Collegiate got their tails up and with two runs coming at the top of the fourth innings, from Alun Pennicott and Garth Tattersfield, with another in the fifth innings by Roger Keith who hit safely, stole second and was batted in by Graeme Stevens.
At the bottom of the sixth innings, Alan Craig, slammed a home run which resulted in a further three runs.
Frank Goodall made the most of an error on third base, and Bob Roff and Dave Barlow followed with hits to tie the score at 3-3.
Peter Thwaites, bought on in a strategic move, hit unorthodoxed out to right field to score Barlow, letting Panthers 1 ahead.
Collegiate snatched three runs in the latter part of the game to ensure the win. The game was not only exciting but showed that Panthers are going to be strong contenders for the major championship this season.
Collegiate - Tattersfield pitched 11 hits - and nine strikeouts.
Graeme Stevens, Bill Somerville, Alun Pennicott, Neil Anderson and Roger Keith (2) hits.
Panthers - Patton pitched 10 hits - seven strikeouts and three walks.
Bob Roff, Dave Barlow, Barry Patton (2).
Also batting for Panthers was, Ian Ellis, Peter Thwaites and John Nicol.
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