Botswana senior women’s softball team came from behind to beat South Africa 4-2 during the Women’s International Softball Games held at the National Diamond over the weekend.
This is despite the visitors having taken the lead in the third inning with Lisa Erasmus being the first player to score a point.
She was followed by Casandra Kalpeno to make sure that South Africa has a comfortable 2-0 lead. By then, Botswana was struggling to make any convincing runs, with majority of them ending in the third base.
By the fourth inning, it seemed like the locals were giving up on the game. Botswana finally made it home through Otsile Motshabe in the seventh inning with Kelebogile Lesesere scoring to level matters. The local players gained confidence and realised that it was possible to score more points.
Irene Mutunge bolted home to give Botswana a 3-2 lead and Iponeng Molapong made a good run from the second base to register the fourth point. Botswana was now enjoying a comfortable 4-2 lead making it difficult for South Africa to make a comeback. In the first match, Botswana lost 12-0 to Japan.
Botswana coach, Bobby Khupe told Sport Monitor that when they were in South Africa last year, he had a pool of 23 players.
“Those were crucial games and I could not dice around. The games were qualifiers and were used for ranking by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). I could not use all the players I had and I had to field the
Today, I had to give others a chance (and) those who did not play in South Africa. Today I must cut the squad to 19,” he said.
Khupe said he is not satisfied and still needs to hunt for two players for the infield especially the short stop and third base.
He said Botswana plays American softball with going hard, swinging hard and bat moving quick. Khupe said he was forced to change his game plan when he realised that the team was failing to score points.
“I have a problem with weight and I prefer quick players. My outfield is carrying a lot of weight. I always make them lose weight during camp and when they go back to their clubs they do not follow the schedule. I am going to write a recommendation to the Botswana Softball Association (BSA) that the national team head coach should not belong to any club,” he said.
Khupe said when players come for the national team camp, he should not be dealing with issues that should have been dealt with at club level. He said at the national team, they should be dealing with technical issues such as how to score. He said it is unfortunate that coaches are not at the same level.
Botswana 4 (Motshabe, Lesesere, Mutunge and Molapong.)
South Africa 2 (Erasmus and Kalpeno)