Letlole Mosielele Junior Secondary School (JSS) from Thamaga clinched the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) girls’ softball national championships for the third time in a row.
Letlole came from behind to beat Patikwane JSS from Paje 12-6 in the finals played at the National Diamond yesterday in Gaborone. Patikwane were the first to score but Letlole were able to score three runs and level the score line in the third inn, at which they made tactical changes, introducing a new pitcher.
The side continued dominating play and extended the lead in the fourth inning. Letlole scored three runs simultaneously to stretch the margin to 6-3. Patikwane regrouped to score two runs and brought the margin down to 5-6. The team’s pitcher, Gofaone Gofamodimo hit a home run to level matters at 6-6 at the beginning of the bottom six.
That only made matters worse for her side as Letlole showed character and scored six runs to extend the lead to 12-6 and clinch the championship.
The winning coach, Prika Ntekolang said his team played well except a hiccup in the last pool game when they lost to Patikwane.
“It is something you take home and learn from it. We did our assignment on it. Coming to the final, we knew they had beaten us before so we had to contain them in terms of our pitching.
“Patikwane is a team that is good in offensive and we had to defend,” he said.
Ntekolang said winning the championship for the third time is an indication that they are going in the right direction. “It is a young team that comprises of Form 1’s and they will be here next year. We must up our game. Our plan was not to walk away with the title because I was using youngsters,” he added. Patikwane coach, Mogezelwa Ramaphane told Sport Monitor that he played against a team with lots of experience.
“My team was making a debut in the national championship but they gave their all. I had only two players who had experience but I guess the younger ones have learnt from them,” Ramaphane said.
He said his players were determined and had the courage to do their best. Ramaphane said his players lost concentration unlike their opponents who are used to playing tournaments.
Meanwhile, Ramaphane said parents from villages such as Mabeleapudi, Tshimoyapula and Majwanaadipitse are involved in assisting the team with playing kit.
Letlole walked away with P3, 000 cash prize, gold medals and trophy. Patikwane travelled back to Paje with P2,500 and silver medals.
Third prize winners pocketed P2, 000. BoFiNET sponsored the softball championships to the tune of P136, 000.