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Silver Lining For Softball Teams

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Botswana pitcher, Kagiso Mogale prepares to launch an attack against South Africa PIC: CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
ATTERIDGEVILLE: The senior men and Under-19 girls sides settled for silver at the 2019 Africa World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) qualifiers over the weekend.

It was a tough three days for the Under-19 girls as they lost all the five matches they played against their strong arch-rivals, South Africa.

The inexperienced Botswana side was saved the blushes after countries such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tunisia pulled out of the continental qualifiers.

The girls’ team was fighting for a place at the Under-19 World Championships scheduled for Irvine, USA in August and qualified despite the losses.

In their first outing on the diamond field, the girls received a baptism of fire, losing 6-0. The second match the score line increased to 7-0. On day two, Botswana lost 10-3 before an 8-3 drubbing.

The men’s team had mixed outcomes as they battled for the gold medal in the qualifiers ahead of the Senior Men’s World Championships that would be hosted in Prague, Czech Republic in June.

Botswana had a good start to the competition as they walloped Lesotho 9-0.

The second match saw the local team coming to the party by beating South Africa 7-2.

Botswana continued to have a good outing on the last day when they taught Lesotho a lesson, by registering more than 15 runs in the first inning. But

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in the final, tables were turned. Botswana enjoyed a 2-0 lead only for South Africa to stage a come back and win the match at 4-2.

Senior men’s team coach, Pako Maforaga told Sport Monitor that they did not come to the party at a critical time due to various reasons.“It is issues that we can work on when we get back home. We did not prepare well and considering the number of games we played here, we were bound to shut down. One of the games took three hours and that took a toll on the players physically. We are known as a defensive team with good pitching and we use that to win games. If the pitching does not work, then we have a problem,” he said.

Maforaga said even offensively they failed to make it happen against the hosts in the final.

He said their opponents’ pitcher challenged them and his chargers were complacent because earlier on they had won. He said they have won many times against South Africa and that made the players to relax making it easy for the opposition to take advantage.



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