Mexico stayed on the edge of being able to win a medal in Softball during the Olympic Games and a fourth place fills the members of the Aztec team with pride
The path of women’s softball in Mexico has not been easy; had to rebuild and overcome mockery by the heavy markers they received in their early days. Starting in 2014, it started from scratch and today the category has been strengthened, those who make up the Women’s National Team applaud their first participation in the Olympic Games and enjoy the fourth place in Tokyo 2020.
The girls from Mexico could not beat Canada for the bronze and fell 3-2; Although the defeat hurts, the joy is higher in the group because in seven years they took big steps and now they see a more promising future, facing the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
Via zoom from Tokyo, the president of the Mexican Softball Federation, Rolando Guerrero, remembered the past of softball and recalled that in 2007 he started as a coach for the men’s team and in 2009 he was also in charge of the women’s team. He says that it was not easy to advance and “we even received ridicule” for how they lost, in addition to seeing that they compared softball a lot with baseball “and now we are fourth in the Olympic Games.”
In 2011, Rolando Guerrro was appointed coach of the Women’s National Team to participate in the Pan American Games and the work done in recent years gave them to qualify for the World Cup for the first time, after two participations.
Then came the Central American Games and silver was achieved in Barranquilla 2018, after losing 2-4 to Puerto Rico. A year later, in the Pan American Games, they obtained fourth place. The manager points out that to achieve this, it was key to change the strategy when it came to scouting players. “We started looking at the best softball in the world, in the United States” and that’s when they began to gather players of Mexican origin who are now the base of the national team and important in the Olympic achievement.
“The visits were made in universities and invitations were sent,” recalled Rolando Guerrero at a press conference.
And with joy he remembers that softball made its way on its own; The senior team was fifth worldwide, while after 35 years Mexico once again participated in a U19 Youth World Cup and was also fifth, thanks to the work from below that is being carried out, since they have been working with Sub-categories for nine years. 13, Sub-10 and even Sub-6.
“The project is quite long; We started from scratch in 2014. We had a lot of rallies. We added more than 150 games to get to Tokyo. We promised to fight for the bronze and we were there. It didn’t happen because of one race (3-2), because of a little mistake that cost us two races, ”added Rola do Guerrero, who asks the authorities for more support, starting with spaces to continue promoting softball.
NEXT GOAL: LOS ANGELES 2028
He comments that Mexico needs a push to move forward, to continue taking steps forward. “Canada has been several times in the Olympic Games, it barely won a medal and in our first participation we are fourth. Everything has been historic for us, from the game, the first win, the first home run, the first race. We work hard to sow the seed ”.
He proudly added that “we were on national television in many places in Mexico. Many had no idea what softball is. It’s now been nine years with projects in the U-13, U-10 and even U-6 categories ”.
Now, the goal is set at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, as there will be no softball in Paris 2024. By that time, the Mexican team hopes to arrive much stronger, although the leader anticipates that many things could happen, such as some girls wanting to be a mother, something for which they must be prepared.
The coach of the national team, Carlos Bernáldez, stated that they played a dignified role in Tokyo and that “we do it for the love of art. There is nothing more that makes me proud than wearing the colors of Mexico on my chest ”. Meanwhile, the player Stefanía Aradillas assured that it is not difficult to dedicate time to softball, when “you like it, you are passionate about it and it amuses you. I have a bittersweet taste because we wanted bronze ”.