Wells Softball Club ladies team are the winners of the 2011 Women National Championships.
The Jwaneng-based outfit beat their opponents by 10 ÔÇô 6 in a fiercely competitive final match at the National Softball Diamond on Sunday.
After a rather lethargic start to the game, the resurgent Wells convincingly outplayed the erratic Bears team to win their second championship of the season after clinching the Majoboge Softball challenge in April this year, when they inflicted the same margin deficit on Bears.
The teams’ performance throughout the two days of final championships and, in particular, their imperious display in the finals against Wells, garnered the team almost all the prizes on offer during the championships save for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, which went to Bears’ Malebogo Ramaphane.
Ramaphane fought a valiant battle to try and take her team to the ‘promised land’ but was failed by her teammates who seemed to have given up hope of winning the match more especially in the last innings. After seeing Bears race to a sizable 5 ÔÇô 2 lead at the end of the first three innings, many would have not predicted that the team would choke and lose out in the bottom innings.
In the first three innings, Bears restricted Wells to a mere 2 runs, with their best innings being in the third inning as they took Wells out for not even a single run. But things changed in the following innings as the Wells pitchers hit the balls, which the Bears fielders failed to catch.
Wells were a picture of athleticism as they reduced their foes to mere spectators in the last three innings.
Erratic catching and sluggish running by the seemingly aging Bears team proved to be the latter’s Achilles Heel as Wells ran them ragged in the last innings with Masego Morake and Keneilwe Poifo doing the most damage with bat and pitching respectively.
The duo had brilliant last innings with Poifo pitching impeccably while Morake gave Bears’ fielders nightmares with the bat in her hands. The duo, complimented by a solid team performance from fellow Wells players turned on the heat and made eight runs while restricting Bears to a mere single run in the last of innings.
For their efforts, Wells won themselves a trophy, P11┬á000 cheque and gold medals while Bears got silver medals and a cheque of P8┬á000.
Third placed Police got bronze medals and P7┬á000. In the individual prizes category, it was a replica of the Majoboge tournament for Ramaphane, Poifo and Kelebogile Lesesere as they were voted the most valuable player, Best Pitcher and Best catcher of the tournament respectively. Another worthy winner was Morake who won the Best Batter of the championship.
Speaking during the handing over of prizes, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) president, Marumo Morule, promised the teams that sponsors will be available for the women’s championships in the new season, which commences in August this year.
“As we had promised the women at the beginning of the season that BSA will sponsor their championship if we failed to get one, I am happy to say we have honoured our promise,” Morule said. “I would like to take this moment therefore, to inform you that when the new season commences at the beginning of August, we will have new sponsors for the championships,” the BSA chief added.