Saturday, July 2, 2022

Shell Softball League decider set for Gaborone this weekend

With six Shell Softball league quarterfinal spots already taken and only two remaining, all hell is expected to break loose when the last five remaining men’s teams come face to face in the last elimination group deciders due in Gaborone this coming weekend.

The games, which were previously slated for Lobatse, will now be held at the National Diamond and the University of Botswana grounds due to unavailability of playing grounds in Lobatse.

According to the Botswana Softball Association (BSA)’s Competition Director, Kelebogile Ditsele, the decision to move the games from Lobatse came after they were told that the playing field in Lobatse is not yet complete.

“When we scheduled the games, we were told that the playing fields in Lobatse will be ready by the time we wanted to play there. However, it has emerged that the field is not yet ready to host the games,” Ditsele said.

Coming into the weekend’s Group D elimination games, an all out war of bat and ball is expected as the group is one of the toughest in the competition. The group comprises of Northern League log leaders Scramblers as well as Barloworld Softball Challenge defending champions Panthers.

Other teams in the group are Blue Angels, Comets and Police. With only two teams out of the six that have already qualified for the championship coming from the North, all eyes will be on Scramblers and Comets to see if they can add to the numbers of teams from that region.

Unlike in the past when the top four teams from both the South and the North regions were guaranteed a spot in the semi finals, the new format of play means all teams have to fight for a berth in the semi finals. The result has, therefore, seen teams from the South so far getting more berths in the next round than teams from the North, thus tipping the representation balance.

So far, the competition has been tough for teams from the North, with only two teams in the men’s section going through while only one ladies team from the North has made the next semi final spot.
In the ladies section, all eyes will be on Wipers to see if they can make it to the final to partner Carats, who are the only ladies’ team from the North to have made a semi final berth.

Meanwhile, Ditsele says the BSA is happy with the new format of play, saying it has brought more quality to the championship. She says the new format will ensure that only the best teams will compete in the championship, thus ensuring competitiveness and quality. The BSA Competitions Director says so far, the new format has worked as there has been quality display in all games as teams gave all to make it into the Shell League championship. After the weekend’s elimination games, the league will go into a week’s recess before heading into the losers’ consolation games.

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