Botswana women's softball team registered their first loss against South Africa in an exciting World Baseball Softball Confederation Africa qualifier played at the National Diamond yesterday evening.
The visitors hammered the hosts 9-3 after the two sides came into the match after winning their opening matches. Botswana started the match on a high note scoring through Onkokame Tlhakoyakgomo. She landed safely on the home plate after Bonolo Molefhe hit a long ball. The visitors scored with a walk to settle matters at 1-1. South Africa scored three points by inning one to extend the lead to 3-1. As the game progressed, the hosts came from behind to settle matters at 3-3. South Africa went a gear up to push the score to 5-3. Botswana made some changes to try and catch up, but the visitors continued their dominance to lead 8-3. South Africa walked away with the bragging rights with a massive 9-3 win.
Botswana will play back-to-back matches against Kenya and Lesotho this afternoon. Coach Phibion Tawina bemoaned costly errors but said they still have time to rectify since they will face South Africa three times. “I will not be fair to my players if I do not give all of them an opportunity to play South Africa. So I am still going to rotate them. The small errors that we created cost us a lot. I did not change the pitcher because I wanted her to settle. There is no need to panic,” Tawina said. Tawina said the game was not earth-shattering and the focus is on the next match. He said Botswana could have beaten South Africa in the first inning.
Meanwhile, in a surprising move two players, Lesego Rankwaila and Kesego Segwe signed the team list as team manager and SHE officer respectively. “We had 16 players and we were informed that only 15 players were allowed in the dugout but we wanted Rankwaila and Segwe to be with the team hence that decision. So Rankwaila became an alternate player so the two players will not be playing,” he said. Botswana is hosting the Africa qualifiers, with four nations taking part after the withdrawal of three countries last week.
Wednesday's schedule: South vs Kenya (10am), Lesotho vs South Africa (12:30pm), Botswana vs Lesotho (3pm) and Kenya vs Botswana (5:30pm).