Mmegi Online :: Softball team chases Olympic dream
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Last Updated
Monday 20 May 2019, 16:33 pm.
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Softball team chases Olympic dream

The women's softball team left this week for South Africa as they chase a debut appearance at next year's Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
By Calistus Kolantsho Fri 10 May 2019, 14:45 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Softball team chases Olympic dream








Botswana will join seven other African countries for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) qualifiers that get underway at Crafford Stadium, Pretoria this weekend.

It would be the first stage for the African nations’ road to Tokyo 2020.

The top two teams will advance to the Europe/Africa Olympic softball qualifier to face the top six European teams. The winner of the combined qualifier will progress to the Olympic Games, joining representatives from other regions.

The Europe/Africa Olympic Softball qualifier takes place in Utretch, the Netherlands, from July 23 to 28, 2019 and would be the first of three qualifiers this year.

Botswana women’s team coach, Tawina Phibion said they are travelling to South Africa, unaware of their other opponents, other than South Africa.  “So far we know of South Africa, but other countries expected are Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Namibia. We would get that information when we arrive and get the fixtures,” Phibion said on Wednesday.

He said their preparations did not go according to plan due to the ongoing BoFINET softball league. He said the team was selected based on current form of the players in the league. Phibion said the norm is that they hold a training camp, which is an opportunity to work on team combinations.

“We have players from different clubs who should now play as a team. Look, I do not normally depend on individuals but I always encourage my players to

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work and win as a team,” he said. Phibion said the only tough opposition they expect is from South Africa, who cannot be taken for granted.

Morongwa Sephekolo, who will be making her debut, said she was excited about the opportunity. “It was least expected but my hard work has paid off.

I would be playing third base and as expected stage freight is going to be an issue so I should make sure I control my emotions,” she said.

The 27-year-old said it is up to her to prove that being in the team is not a fluke.

Another player, Onalenna Phetogo who plays in the outfield position, said the qualifiers are a big assignment for the team. Phetogo who has been playing for the national team since 2008 said she believes Botswana has what it takes to qualify.

“Playing in the qualifiers is an achievement, especially that it has been years without softball in the Olympics. We have a strong squad and I expect us to win the game from pitching department,” Phetogo said. The hosts South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, will take part in the qualifiers in Pretoria.

 

The Botswana team:

Pitchers: Onneetse Seth, Gotlamang Sixpence, China Kgojane, Gaone Monyatsi and Lesego Ditau

Catchers: Goitseone Monyadzwe and Kelebogile Lesesere. Infielders: Nametsagang Mathame, Malebogo Ramaphane, Charity Isaac, Morongwa Sephekolo and Lerato Ntsoletsang

Outfield: Onalenna Ntibi, Bonolo Molefhe, and Kagiso Lowang

Alternate: Maitumelo Serumola.

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