Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

Canadian Maccabiah Women's Softball Team: Bring On The Americans

The softball club is ready to challenge its biggest rival

By: Alan Hudes

Published: July 10th, 2013 in News » World

Canadian Maccabiah Women's Softball Team: Bring On The Americans

After winning bronze at the Maccabiah Games in 2009, Canada will field a more experienced roster this summer in the hopes of posing a threat to the highly-talented American squad.

“This is the third time for women’s softball (at the Maccabiah) and…they pretty well murdered everybody,” says Canadian head coach Howard Dinetz of the U.S. team outscoring their opponents 72-8 en route to the gold medal four years ago. “They’re all college ball girls, so it’s going to be tough.”

Canada will have its own U.S. college player in Amanda Greenberg of the NCAA Division II’s Minot State University, who is slated to be the ace of the pitching staff. In her senior year with the Beavers last season, the Winnipeg, Man., native was named a first-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NCIS) all-star and the NCIS pitcher of the year after going 25-5 with a 1.12 earned-run average (ERA) and 258 strikeouts in 37 games.

The team is made up of several others with Canadian university experience, including Durham College and Mississauga Midgets right-hander Lydia Kalbfleisch, Windsor Lancers third baseman Stephanie Manson and Leah Margolis, an outfielder for the Western Mustangs.

With nearly a completely revamped roster, Jaclyn Dinetz, coach Dinetz’s daughter, is the lone returning player from 2009. Dinetz competed in the last two Maccabiah Games, as well as the Canadian rep softball championships. The rest of the players hail from across the country – including Montreal, Winnipeg, and Vancouver – meaning that coach Dinetz has not been able to hold any practices with the full group.

“I’m getting one week to coach these girls to play my way,” he says, referring to a weekend tournament in Whitby, Ont., and training sessions that Canada will hold from July 12-16. “As far as offence goes, I’m very aggressive on the basepaths. I want them to run a lot, especially against the other team.”

The Canadians are guaranteed to reach to the podium even before the tournament begins, with just Israel and the United States forming the opposition. But even with the short window of opportunity for success, Dinetz feels the goal is clear.

“I’d be very disappointed if we’re not in the gold medal game,” he says. “Four years ago we beat Israel to get the bronze and our team is much better this time. There’s no comparison”

To raise money for their participation at the Maccabiah Games, the players hosted a dinner with dancing and silent auction on May 11 for friends, family and supporters.

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