The National Diamond was the battleground for men’s softball teams in the southern region as they fought to qualify for the 10th edition of the Phikwe Softball Extravaganza.
Wells International is the men’s defending champions while Police IX are the defending women’s title. The winners of the 2018 edition are going to pocket P50, 000 on both men and women sides. The women’s qualifications were held last weekend and teams that have booked themselves tickets to Phikwe are Wells, Vikings and UB Giants. The men’s qualifications started on Friday with BDF IX beating Panthers 4-3. Bears brushed aside Dinare 1-0 with Police beating Vikings 11-0.
On Saturday, BMC clobbered Blue Angels 6-0 while UB Giants played 5-2 against Eagles.
The games continued with Gata having a walk in the park by vanishing Stingers’ dreams of the Phikwe trip by 21-3. The games continued on Sunday.
Bears continued their good run by beating Angels 13-0 while BMC hit the scoreboard twice to deny Dinare a chance.
Dinare missed out on the tournament for the second time in a row.
BMC pitcher Obakeng Matlapeng, who joined the side from UB Giants, had a good day in office. He started the match with strong strikes that saw him taking out Koogotsitse Motsholapheko. The next batter in the box was Tiroyamodimo Ramooki. He was sent marching by Matlapeng. The action was between the pitcher and his catcher.
The first movement for BMC was when Bakhutso Letlhomo hit the ball to third base where it was easily caught. He made a run for the
Speaking to Monitor Sport after the match, Dinare captain, Motsholapheko said the game against BMC went according to plan despite the loss. “BMC pitcher was a challenge to us. He came with a game plan that we did not expect. He pitched a lot of off spins, which made it difficult for our batters to play. The other thing is that we have not been training because the league has long ended,” he said.
Motsholapheko said it was not easy for them to adjust. He said they lost due to the errors they made. He said losing two games meant their chances of qualifying were dented even if they were to win the remaining game.
For his part, BMC captain, Kago Marumulwa said they were all fired up and wanted to concentrate from first inning until the end.
“My players stuck to the plan and you must realise that concentration is important in softball. Any mistake could have cost us the match,” he said. Marumulwa said they have never qualified for Phikwe and if they qualify, it would be a big achievement.