Mmegi Online :: Botswana gains momentum ahead of World Championships
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Wednesday 12 December 2018, 15:06 pm.
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Botswana gains momentum ahead of World Championships

The menís national softball team is gaining the right momentum ahead of the 2017 XIV Softball World Championships in Canada.
By Calistus Kolantsho Tue 13 Jun 2017, 15:11 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Botswana gains momentum ahead of World Championships








Botswana started preparations for the World Championships over the weekend at the National Diamond against South Africa.

Botswana won their first match 9-0, lost the second match 2-1 and wrapped up the day with a 7-0 win. Head coach, Pako Maforaga told Mmegi Sport after the one day tournament that he was impressed with the performance of his players. He said the idea was to see how ready the team was ahead of the world championships. He said they were not after results.

“We tried different combinations and batting orders. I also kept on changing pitchers but my opponents kept the same pitcher who they knew would dominate,” he said.

Maforaga said they do not have time to play a different opponent in an international friendly. Instead, he said they are going to play against South Africa again next week after reflecting on the Saturday assignment. He said other preparatory matches would be against local clubs.

“It is not enough but given the time from when we assembled the team (in February), I think we are doing well. We have been through trials all this time with the final team being assembled three weeks ago. We are now building cohesion amongst the players. We are trying to find a line up amongst the 17,” he said.

Maforaga said Botswana is not

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at the same level with other countries because most countries play many tournaments. He said with that, the opponents have opportunities to prepare a lot.

“We are always dominating when it comes to pitching. Our challenge is due to lack of exposure in offence. We are lacking most of the time,” he said.

The draw for the tournament has been conducted with Botswana facing off against Great Britain in the first game on July 7.

Maforaga said they have not been at the World Championships for some time and teams that are ranked below them have had exposure and they are competition ready more than Botswana.

The team’s captain, Jury Manaka said they have not reached the peak that they want. He said they are still behind when it comes to offence, and he was hopeful that coaches would work on it in the remaining three weeks.

Assistant coach, Misael Thomspson said competition would be tough in Canada. He said the pitching department showed massive improvement. He said the two teams, South Africa and Botswana learned from each other.

“We wanted to see the capability of our players. We last competed at the World Championships in 2009. Our pool is not bad because there are some teams that we can beat such as Great Britain and Indonesia,” Thomspson said.

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