BW Men qualify for softball world cup

Kitso Ramono
AMERICA BOUND: BW men's softball team

The men’s national softball team have qualified for the World Cup thanks to their second-place finish in the three-team African qualifiers at the weekend.

Although they were narrowly beaten by the host’s South Africa 2-0 in the final, BW thrashed sorry Lesotho twice to make it through to the WBSC World Cup group stages set for Oklahoma City, America in September.

Despite going over a year without competitive action, the local lads showed no signs of rustiness, thumping Lesotho 12-0 and then 22-0 to seal one of the two qualification spots.

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They also recorded a dramatic 4-3 victory over SA on a memorable opening day, before the South African’s hit back to win Game Two 4-0.

Though they missed out on the African title, it was a clean sweep for Botswana in the individual awards, with Rannaneng Mothudi winning best catcher, Oreeditse Bareng best pitcher and Tshepo Ditiro scooping best batter of the tournament.

BW Men qualify for softball world cup
MAKING THEIR MARK: Ditiro, Mothudi and Bareng with Coach Moyo

Catching up with Voice Sport, Coach, Tony Moyo said he was delighted at how well his inexperienced squad played over the four days in Mokopane.

“We went to South Africa with fresh players who had never played for the national team, as well as players who were not active because we do not have a local league that can serve as a feeding plan for the national team yet we managed to defend our last position,” said Moyo.

The veteran Coach added his team, ranked 33rd in the world, now need to work on their mental toughness if they are to take their game to the next level.

“I believe we should concentrate on their mental psychology to help them relax a little; that is where we failed. It is critical to understand the game and feel comfortable. We were not patient enough, our batting was poor, and we were releasing the bat too early. SA took advantage of the fact that we did not perform well offensively,” said Moyo.

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The players now have a week off before returning for camp as they build towards the WC, which is divided into three groups of six teams and will be held in three different cities.

Taking part in the competition for the 9th time, Botswana have been drawn in Group C, against the likes of Japan, Netherlands and USA, with two more teams still to be confirmed.

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