FRANCISTOWN: Rail Giants’ softball teams took early grip of the northern zone league after the opening games in Orapa over the weekend.
Four men and three women’s teams battled it out in the opening fixtures of the league where each team played three games. Orapa teams, Rebels and Carats, hosted Rail Giants and Maun Deltas.
Rail Giants men dispatched Maun Deltas 6-5 before accounting for Carats 3-1. However, Giants lost 5-4 to the hosts, Rebels.
Carats beat Rebels 9-8; lost to Rail Giants and then demolished Deltas 8-0. After losing 9-8 in their opening game, Rebels produced a comeback by beating struggling Deltas 9-2 before they claimed their biggest win against the powerhouses, Rail Giants.
Rail Giants, Rebels and Carats all finished on four points after winning two games each, but Rail Giants claimed top spot thanks to a superior number of runs.
In the women’s section, Rail Giants humiliated the home team, Orapa Carats 11-0. Carats then beat Scramblers 12-3. Rail Giants and Scramblers would meet in Francistown when the league shifts to the second city. Rail Giants women’s finished top with two points and 11 runs.
Rail Giants men’s captain, Romeo Tshelametsi praised their opponents and said softball is growing in the northern region.
“Carats is the only team that has always given us a tough time in the region. We prepared very well for them, we fielded our best team and we won. However, it was a close game. “In our two other games, we fielded mostly young new players to measure their strength as well as give them a run and of course we lost to Rebels. These guys are equally gifted and they are also strong. We did the same in the past, but we used to win. This is a sign that we can no longer take teams for granted, softball has grown here,” said Tshelametsi. The next round of the league takes place on November 17 in Selebi-Phikwe where Motlakase, Scramblers, Raptures and Wipers will battle it out.