Softball: Black Sox overcome Australia to keep world title defence alive

World softball champions New Zealand have kept their title defence alive with a 7-4 come-from-behind quarter-final victory over Australia in Prague.

Trailling 4-1 in the fifth inning, the Black Sox batters rallied against the world's top pitcher, Aussie Adam Folkard, with Joel Evans and Ben Enoka hitting back-to-back home runs to spark the comeback.

Evans also scored Zane Van Lieshout with his shot and with the scores tied, Folkard was forced out of the game, making way for Andrew Kirkpatrick.

But the Kiwis weren't done, with Thomas Enoka scoring his second run of the game, and Wayne Laulu and Reilly Makea also crossing home on a fielding error.

The Aussies had conceded six runs in the inning and could not recover.

Opener pitcher Daniel Chapman suffered early for the Black Sox, taking nine strikeouts, but conceding four hits and four walks for four runs.

Reliever Josh Pettett steadied the ship, with three strikeouts and three hits in three scoreless innings, while the batters went to work.

New Zealand now take on unbeaten Japan in the semi-finals, after losing to the same opponents 5-1 in pool play. That game is scheduled for 2:30am Sunday (NZT).