- Botswana finished 2nd after SA to win in Africa qualifiers in Gabs
- Coach to reinforce squad further by dropping and adding players
- Botswana to occupy 2nd slot for Africa in Group A at World Cup
Botswana Softball Association’s (BSA) Senior National Women’s Team has advanced to the last stage of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Cup qualifiers that are billed for Europe in July following their brilliant performance at the recent Africa qualifiers in Gaborone last week.
Botswana finished 2nd behind South Africa who emerged champions of the competition after winning all of their games home and away against Botswana, Lesotho and Kenya to occupy the first Africa slot at the second stage of qualifiers.
Level of preps
Botswana lost only two games, both at the hands of their closest rival, South Africa, to occupy the second slot for Africa in Group A alongside the host Ireland as well as Great Britain, Australia and the USA whereas South Africa will face Spain, Costa Rica, Netherlands and Cuba.
The head coach of the senior national team, Tawina Phibion, told Gazette Sports that they are satisfied with the team’s performance even though they failed to salvage points from South Africa.
“The team performance was not that bad but the honest truth is that the performance of the players is gauged by the level of preparations,” he said. “So we performed according to how we prepared.
“We could have won at least one game against South Africa just to thank the spectators who came in large numbers to support us during the tournament. We’ll be going to Ireland and it’s not going to be as simple as it was here because all the teams we are pitted against are very strong and competitive.”
To ensure a more fit-for-purpose team, Coach Phibion said they are going to boost their squad by adding and dropping players based on performance in the first qualifiers. “We are waiting for the league to start to resume our selection process and we will be monitoring players’ performance,” he asserted.
“No one has a permanent place in the squad. Everyone has to work hard for their place. I hope that the leadership has seen the importance of preparations prior to major events. We are hoping for better preparations that will complement our training programme.
“We need regular training camps and preparatory matches that will boost the girl’s confidence ahead of this massive task in Europe.”