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Softball players score high

Posted December 1st, 2016, 12:01 PM IST

Softball players score high

These under-19 state level softball tournament champions have been following this daily strict regime off late: Wake up at five am, go for practice, and head to college. And, they have just one goal: To be selected in the national team.

The sport that first emerged in Jodhpur in 1964 in India, made its presence felt in Hyderabad in the early 1990s. According to Shobhan Babu, General secretary, Telangana Softball Association, the sport is quite popular amongst city kids. “Softball and baseball are both popular American sports of similar nature. The only difference being the ball used in softball is larger and the bowling should be underhand and has to be played on a smaller field, as compared to baseball,” explains Shobhan.

Shobhan, who used to play for India earlier, sees great potential in the girls and the sport’s development in the state. “There are five to six play grounds like the Victory playground or the St Francis playground, where the kids practice every day apart from the schools that have included the sport. Telangana is one of the states from which some of the best players have been coming up and amongst all the districts of the state, Hyderabad has the best talent.”

Tejaswini Yadav takes a strike
Tejaswini Yadav takes a strike

Speaking about talent, he points out to the hard-working team that has been practising daily despite adverse weather conditions. “I have been into this sport for the last seven years and have worked hard. My family is very supportive and have never stopped me from making my mark in the sporting arena. If everything goes well, we may be part of the India’s 2020 Olympic team,” says team player Sanchiya Maria Lawrence.

Another teammate, who had been into this sport for six years now, P. Ravali, seems positive too. “We are practising daily with just one goal in mind. We have to make it to the national team,” she says.

Every person in the team plays a very important role. It’s not just the batter’s role to score the winning run but also the catcher’s role to get the opponent out. Soumya has been practising to be a great catcher for the last five years and yes, she has few tricks up her sleeve now! But it is definitely not about only playing softball which the girls have in their mind. They go around and have fun together as a team.

“We recently went to Delhi for a competition, it was really fun. We get to learn new tips and tricks to better our game from others. During these tournaments, we visit new places and make new friends. The overall experience is very enriching,” signs off Sanchiya, before rushing back to join her teammates on the practice field.

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