ORAPA: Carats men’s softball club beat their cross-town rivals, Rebels 1-0 in a tightly contested game played at Itekeng Diamond on Saturday.
However, the game was called off in the fourth inning due to fast approaching dark. The Diamond ground does not have floodlights and the umpire commonly known as ‘The Blue’ called off the game.
Rebels were unhappy with the decision and they decided to launch a protest. The match was part of the games that were played over the weekend, as the Northern league got under way. The activities also included league launch by BoFINET.
Meanwhile, Carats had a good day as they won all their matches in both the men’s and women’s teams.
Prior to their clash against Rebels, they faced off high riding Scramblers from Francistown.
The game was nerve-wracking with Scramblers pitcher, Obakeng Ketesepe making sure that Carats runners did not reach first base. The host team won the game 1-0 after a concentration lapse on the side of Scramblers.
Carats started the day by dominating Sua Raiders who had no response to the former’s 10 innings. On Sunday morning, Carats clobbered Gheto Yankees 4-2.
Carats interim coach, Gofaone Pilane told Sport Monitor that they started preparing for the league in December because they anticipated that the league would start in January.
“Our plan is to be in the Top 8. We have been given a target as coaches. We should get a podium finish. In the previous season we were number three and moved to position four last year. Now our target is to reach the final so our preparations were top notch,” he said.
Pilane said he instructed his players- both men and women- that they should not let the game go beyond the fourth inning. He said
“Our plan from here is to work on offence. The challenge is that our pitchers are not staying in town so their training is below par. That is why we work hard on defence to protect them and make sure that they do not get tired,” he said.
Pilane said the worst part is that only four players stay in town so that puts a strain on the preparations.
“We knew that Rebels did not have good defence. So they came with a game plan from the last game. I used seasoned players against Rebels who are used to pressure from the national team,” he said.
Carats boasted of experienced players such as Rebaone Pilane who was playing third base.
For his part, Rebels coach, Samuel Radipotsane said the plan was to win the game, but they failed to score from the first inning only for Carats to score in the second.
“The game had to be stopped due to darkness, but we have lodged a protest against the decision. We are yet to check what the rules say. The leading team at bottom three is given the game but this is a league, so we want to see if the rule applies,” he said.
Regarding the game preparations, Radipotsane said they knew that the Carats pitcher was going to drop the ball and they were to exploit that.