Blue Angels softball club caused a major upset over the weekend as they beat Police IX and left them teetering on the brink of a league championship title exit, while messing up the BoFiNet softball league top 8 standings.
Police IX’s loss put them in a conundrum, as they now find themselves in a four way tie with Dinare, BMC Rivals and UB Giants for the last two Top 8 positions in the BoFiNet Southern Zone league log. The four teams are tied at ten points apiece, something which is said to have left the Botswana Softball Association (BSA) technical committee scratching their heads as to who should advance to the next round. In what was a must win game for Police, they came unstuck against a spirited Blue Angels side which has been struggling during the entire first round.
Angels won the game by a single point margin run, winning 6 ÔÇô 5, to throw Police IX into a quagmire. With Police IX going into the game aware this was a must win if they were to advance, the pressure was telling from the first inning as they failed to register a single run. On the other hand, Angels managed to score two runs in their opening innings, thanks to Neo Kgothi and Amogelang Latlhang. When Police IX thought they had rallied back, scoring two runs in the second innings courtesy of Laone Morebodi and Kaone Sekate, Angels pegged them back in response. A home run by Molekane Bokhutlo, sandwiched between a run apiece from Mogapiwa and Setlhabi, ensured Police IX attempted comeback was all in vain. Where Police IX failed to make runs in the third innings, Angels scored a single run through Mmoloki Maphane to extend their lead to 6 ÔÇô 2. While neither of the two teams could muster a single run to add to their scores in the fourth innings, Police IX gave themselves a chance on the fifth innings as they got themselves a single run through Rannaneng Mothudi, while Angels failed to add to their runs. Despite a valiant effort by Police IX to rally back in the sixth innings, scoring two runs through Morebodi and Sekate yet again, they however fell short and Angels claimed their biggest scalp of the BoFiNet season. Commenting on the match, Police IX coach, Tawina Phibion said his team failed to deal with the pressure of a ‘must win game.’
“We lost because of discipline and mental strength. Normally, when your mental strength is weak, you will not have game discipline and you will be all over the place,” Phibion opined. He said prior to the game, he had warned his players to take the game seriously as this was a must win for them if they were to make the BoFiNet top 8 and continue to fight for league honors. “Even at training I warned my players that they will be playing against an opponent with nothing to lose and who will be out to play for fun. I informed them that they will have to come forth and play to win, but they came short,” the Police IX coach said.