Women fall at final hurdle

2017-03-28 06:03

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The Western Cape softball team has fallen short of retaining its national title when the women were beaten 2-1 by University Sport South Africa (USSA) in a tense final of the national provincial championship held this past week in Tshwane.

USSA had also inflicted the only other defeat on the Western Cape team in the first play-off game. Western Cape had cruised through the round robin unscathed.

Courtney Stevens, top batter of the tournament, batted in Justine Stewart to take the lead at the top of the seventh inning. 16-year-old Grivonne Rhoda, of the Lavender Hill softball club, performed like a seasoned veteran on the pitching rubber for the Western Cape.

An unusual fumble between Alex Fortune and Nicole Alexander at second base saw USSA placing runners on first and second bases with no outs. The usual sacrifice short plays resulted in an advance of the runners and a run scored for USSA. With two outs, another hit saw USSA clinch its first ever title.

The Western Cape men, coached for the first time by Moses Molaba, played superbly throughout the tournament. Its fourth place was the highest the Western Cape had finished in the last 10 years.

They came unstuck in their first play-off game against Ekurhuleni, going down 4-3. With bases loaded and the winning runs begging to be scored, Molaba was caught superbly by second base Christopher Bann.

Courtney Stevens, of Glenthorn A’s, walked off with the top batter award with young Ammaarah Larney in third position.

The South African u.19 and senior teams were announced after the tournament.

In the South African u.19 team to take part in the junior women world championship in Florida in July the province is represented by Rhoda, Chesternay Fortune, Kelly Thompson and Erin Peters (all Lavender Hill), Jenna Moses (Kenfac Phillies), Nandipha Gxthwane (St Martins) and Larney (Falcons).

Rhoda has also been chosen for the South African senior team that will participate in the senior women world championships in Japan next year. The Western Cape is also represented in this team by Nawaal Nacerodien (Tantasport), Lisa Erasmus (Glenthorn A’s) and Alexander (Falcons).


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