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White Sox players fully back shortened version of softball after playing in inaugural Summer Slam competition

The White Sox have wrapped up their time in Australia by participating in a fast-paced, shortened version of softball at the inaugural Summer Slam in Sydney.

After a tough campaign at the Asia Pacific Cup, the Kiwis had some fun testing out Summer Slam's "Fully Loaded Softball".

The new format saw the game cut from seven innings to just three and made the game a paradise for hitters by starting each innings with the bases loaded and fences brought in closer for a higher chance of home runs.

White Sox captain Lara Andrews, who played for the Lightning in the tournament, says it could really help the sport in the future.

White Sox captain Lara Andrews celebrates an out made by the Lightning during the Summer Slam.
White Sox captain Lara Andrews celebrates an out made by the Lightning during the Summer Slam. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's high intensity, high adrenaline, it's wonderful for the future of the game," Andrews told 1 NEWS.

"Moving forward, it could be a way to keep people in the game longer."

Andrews added simply cutting down the time it takes to complete a game with the new format could be a big factor as well.

"We can get more done in 25 minutes playing this than we could in an entire regular game.

"There's diving fielders, home runs, defensive shifts - it's very entertaining."

But with the bountiful scoring opportunities presented, there was one group of players who catcher Mel Gettins admits had it rough.

"It's definitely not a pitcher's game," she said.

"But they're good sports. They take it on the chin and appreciate their role in the game - it's about smashing the ball."

Teams were thrown together for the event made up from participants at this year's Asia Pacific Cup, meaning White Sox players got to mix up with athletes from Italy, China, Chinese Taipei and Australia.

White Sox infielder Ashley Johnston makes a diving out for the Emeralds during the Summer Slam.
White Sox infielder Ashley Johnston makes a diving out for the Emeralds during the Summer Slam. Source: 1 NEWS

Two-way player Erin Blackmore said the mustered teams allowed everyone to learn new aspects of their game from different cultures but also have some fun playing against regular teammates.

"We usually get to play each other at our clubs but it's not really a high level like this is," she said.

"To play each other on TV, see each other doing well, giving each other a bit of banter - it's really cool."

Andrews added though they were competing against each other, the White Sox never forgot their roots.

"Even though we were on different teams, you still cheer when one of your own does something amazing - it's that family aspect we have in the team."

When asked if they believed the shortened format could work in New Zealand, all three agreed fully-loaded softball could easily excel here.

"It could spark interest in the regions that are starting to lose player numbers," Andrews said.

This year's winning team was Team Fury, the only team without a Kiwi player in it, who beat the Emeralds in the final 9-8 after a walkoff grand slam.

White Sox players come together in their different Summer Slam team uniforms before playing fully-loaded softball.
White Sox players come together in their different Summer Slam team uniforms before playing fully-loaded softball. Source: Supplied