SOLLY Baholo and Mandla Matswinyane, the precocious youngsters who sent out such a positive message about the future of domestic softball, are the embodiment of a phenomenon that, from a Limpopo perspective, the game’s out fielding is still intact.
What makes them identical is that they are both left-handers with an almost similar batting style and have a calm demeanour.
Being talkative in a team under the guidance of a no-nonsense coach like Lemo Raphasha can be a point’s reducer and an outright irritation.
Their rapid rise to the provincial team and the impression that they made during the recent National Provincial Championships (NPC) became the stuff of sporting legend.
The game’s connoisseur, Tlou Boshomane, who is provincial and national chairperson of school softball, concurs that the pair has a bright future in the game.
“These boys need a good nurturing. All is needed from their clubs coaches is to steer them towards the right direction” said the man widely known as Bra Benny in softball circles.
Baholo and Matswinyane, affectionately known (by their nicknames) as Mabaya and Mindlos, personified what made this year’s NPC in the out fielding category so appealing – the impact that may be made by any number of exciting novices in what has been described as the toughest tournament on Softball South Africa’s competitions almanac.
Matswinyane’s dizzying spin from Lebowakgomo Wild Beasts’ third base position to all-round outfield roles now marks him among the special talents in the province.
Baholo, who made his debut in the Limpopo side a fortnight ago, was not far in the numbers game.
He acquitted himself with an above average performance on the right flank and if needs be should ever arise.
Youthful confidence and ebullience became their common denominator and now they are the standard bearers of a young brigade who could change the all-too-boring approach to certain game plans.
Reams have been written about how the realities of modern softball are loaded against Limpopo – and they are!
But one gets the feeling that after such a thrilling inter-provincial tournament, which was one of the best in years – a new mood is sweeping through the domestic landscape.
The reason is the appearance of any number of youngsters willing to embrace a more adventurous mind-set, seemingly not cowed by years of defeats at club level and intimidation by senior members.
Moreover, one also gets the impression that there is a distinct change of attitude and for once, the Limpopo team may not be beaten again.
This is because of the emergence of young players like Baholo and Matswinyane.
The duo has shown that Limpopo softball is not a closed shop.
MM22: Precocious youngster Mandla Matswinyane sends out such a positive message about the future of domestic softball.