Ready to steal home
The stage has been set for 27 softball teams that will be gunning for glory at the yearly national championships that pitch off at Turfhall Softball Stadium in Athlone, Cape Town, on Monday.
The tournament, which is hosted by Western Province Softball Federation (WPSF), ends on March 15.
The teams will play in the men's major A and B and women's major A and B divisions.
Limpopo won the men's major A division in Polokwane last year and their coach Sello "Zorro" Rampedi, believes they can repeat the feat in Cape Town.
But he was quick to admit that it will not be easy for his charges because all the teams will want to beat them to prove a point.
"It will be tough, but I have confidence in the players I have selected. They have the ability to overcome the obstacles and they will prove their worth in Cape Town," said Rampedi, who doubles up as coach of LimDev Super League giants Seleteng Giant Killers.
Rampedi will rely on experienced campaigners such as Thabo Tawane, captain Vasna "VR6" Molaba and Thabang Letsoalo.
Limpopo were made to sweat by Central Gauteng in the final last year where they emerged 4-3 victors in a nail-biting clash in Polokwane.
Western Province and Central Gauteng are also favourites to win in this division and they will also compete against Gauteng North, Eastern Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and a South African Students Sport Union (Sassu) team.
Gauteng North are also expected to go for broke to defend their women's major A title, but they should expect sturdy resistance from the hosts and KwaZulu-Natal. Sassu, Limpopo and Eastern Gauteng will also exchange bats in this division.
Noore Nacerodien, WPSF's president, said they were grateful to the local municipality who pledged R140 000 towards the tournament. The provincial government gave them R20 000.