Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Softball league soldiers on despite lack of funds

Despite lamenting the lack of equipment and miscommunication from the Botswana Softball Association (BSA), both the female and male softball leagues have soldiered on, with the female league already over and the male league in its late stages.

The men’s championship race intensified over the weekend as teams battled for points to elevate themselves to the top four positions, which will enable them to participate in the Champions league to be held in May.

On Saturday morning, Panthers took over the beef town boys, BMC but the rain interrupted the otherwise interesting encounter, which is to be rescheduled.
In the afternoon, BDF IX locked horns with Police and both teams pocketed a point home after a 1-1 draw.

In the evening, struggling UB Giants was thrashed by Bears 18-6.┬á The league continued on Sunday with Panthers narrowly stealing victory from Vikings after the latter’s veteran, Olebile ‘Mandla’ Letsebe, pitched a week one and Panthers capitalised on that.

Letsebe was later replaced by Potlako Kgari, but it was too late as Panthers had already gained an upper hand, winning the encounter 8-6. Vikings, caretaker, Goga Daman, attributed his teams’ loss to fatigue and inadequate training due to work commitments.

He also lamented the lack of equipment, saying that it hampers their performance. Despite the challenges, Damian said their “aim is to be on the top four so that we can compete in the champions league.”

Panthers head coach, Shaka Bonang, said they only managed to win because their strength lies in their offence. He, however, like many of his colleagues, complained about the lack of equipment and inadequate training. Bonang criticised the management of BSA for miscommunication, saying the national softball running body does not consult and communicate new developments well with the league teams.

“Right now we are playing a three legged league without having any official notification.” A

After Panthers and Vikings game, UB Giants continued with its charity mission, donating 3 points to the number three league standing Blue Angels. From the start of the game, Blue Angels spat fire, making a day’s record of two runs. Despite UB Giants fighting bravely, Angels went on to win the match 15-8.

UB Giants’ coach Puso Kgosietsile, however, had nothing to lose for his boy’s loss as he said for now they are not fighting for honours. He said what he cares about at the moment is building a team that will be ready to compete next season.

“Currently, my team is made up of young and inexperienced boys, therefore I’m still grooming them,” he said.

The derby of the day was between the long time rivals BDF IX and Panthers. From the start, both teams approached the game tactically, each knowing that an early lead would weigh heavily upon the opponents shoulders. However, BDF IX went on to win the match 5-0.

Leading the female’s league, which had run without sponsors, is Bears with 30 points of 15 wins and one loss, seconded by Wells with 24 points from 12 wins and four losses.

Bottom of the league, at number 9 is BDF IX after losing all of its 16 games. On the men’s side, BDF IX is at the top with 38 points after 21 games, closely trailed behind by Panthers with 31 points after 21 games. Bottom of the league is UB giants with 4 points from 2 wins of 22 games.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.