White Sox gear up for Down Under Series 2016

The White Sox are gearing up for their first international tournament of the year.  They'll be facing off against two of the world's best teams, Japan and Australia in the Down Under Series in Sydney.

Putting in the work for their first competition of the year.

Pitcher Rita Hokianga says, "For us it's a great build up for us to be exposed to that type of level, so I'm excited."

Catcher Mel Gettins says, "It's amazing, to just get invited was crazy but that the fact that we're going next week, time's flown and to get better you've got to play against the best and to have Aussie just across the ditch and Japan to come over as well is just so exciting."

Coming into the tournament ranked eighth in the world, they'll be playing seven games over three days against world number one, Japan, and third-ranked Australia.

White Sox head coach Kevin Gettins says, "We can't be overruled we've got to in there and compete and compete hard with them.  We got nothing to lose and the expectation is that they'll knock us around but we've got some plans up our sleeves to have a crack at some of those better teams."

The wider squad of 25 players spread across Australia, America and New Zealand.  But for this tournament only the New Zealand-based players will play.

Gettins adds, "If we just set little goals to mentally hang in there with them and because as I say I know it's going to be tough, but if we break it down into little steps we'll be competitive with them."

The two new caps Pania Monk and Mereana Makea will also make their debut and they're shaping up well.