Black Sox softball great Mark Sorenson was brought in to address the current team before last night’s 11-0 world championships win over the Netherlands.
Sorenson, who won four world championship gold medals with the Black Sox between 1984 and 2004, said he had been invited by coach Eddie Kohlhase to speak to the players “as a member of the extended family’’.
He said he spoke about “the experiences of past world championships’’ and about approaching the final two pool games against the Dutch and fellow minnows the Philippines before the playoffs start tomorrow.
Sorenson is the tournament’s official ambassador. He presented the playing uniforms to the Black Sox before the first game last Friday.
The former catcher, a meticulous planner in his playing days, discussed preparation and emphasised using the final two games to “really solidify the disciplines and maintain high standards.
The “highs and lows’’ of a tournament were also discussed with the current team experiencing “a big low’’ in their 9-7 loss to Canada but bouncing back well with a 2-1 win over Argentina.
Speaking before the Netherlands victory, Sorenson said the Black Sox had “a little bit of work to do’’ in the playoffs.
He said some batters were in good form but he would “like that to be a bit wider’’, rather than “just the same guys’’ producing most of the key hits.
“It would be good to see a few more runs manufactured.’’
Sorenson would like to see the Black Sox get more runners on base and apply pressure on the opposition defence. “Then the home run becomes a bonus. But building pressure creates home run opportunities.’’
Three homers last night - all in the fifth inning by captain Rhys Casley, Wayne Laulu and Patrick Shannon - took the Black Sox’s tournament tally to 11 in six games.
Brad Rona leads the way with three with Shannon on two.
Of these accolades, which would you like to win most?