2012: Match Report: Softball Girls FinalsMay 13th, 2012 by CCA PRO
The much awaited softball girls finals is finally here! Our softball girls faced strong rivals Raffles Institution in an epic final at the Kallang Softball Pitch today. The blistering heat from today’s weather fueled the tension and fighting spirit that saturated the atmosphere as Team Hwachong completed their final warm up routine before starting the competition proper.
After a physically and mentally demanding match of five whole innings, our girls were eventually outmatched by our opponents with a score line of 6-2!
For starters, let us meet today’s first team lineup!
Dinna (No. 3)
Sue Mae (No. 7)
Jean (No. 11)
Xue Yi (No. 13) Pitcher
Nina (No. 15)
Jolene (No. 16)
Chloe (No. 17)
Ming Hui (No. 27)
Jing Wen (No. 33)
Hannah (No. 72)
To help everyone better understand the game, here are some basic rules about softball.
The game is split into five innings (sets), with both teams taking turns to attack and defend in each inning.
The attacking team aims to bat the balls pitched by the opposing pitcher as skillfully as possible (to prevent the defending opponents from catching the balls) in order to advance to another base. The attacking side scores a point when one batter has advanced pass all three bases and finally return to home base. However, a batterer can be ‘striked’ out if she fails to bat three appropriately thrown balls. However, if she pulls of a ‘good eye’ (act of spotting a foul throw and thus not swinging the bat), she will automatically advance to the next base. Batters can be tapped out if the defending players catch the ball and tap the batter before she reaches the next base. All batters will also be automatically dismissed from the field if any defending player catches the batted ball before it touches the ground.
The defending team will attempt to either catch the ball before it touches the ground to dismiss all attacking players on the field or to ‘catch’ running batters before they advance to a next base.
One attack ends when three players have be dismissed from the play area.
In today’s match, Team Hwa Chong as given the role of attackers first in each inning
With one final cheer , the girls were ready to start.
Offensive play (0-0)
Our first offensive inning started off decently as two of our batters gained ground and reached the second and first base respectively. However, a stroke of bad luck ensued and the opposing defenders managed to catch all three players on field at the same time and managed to hold us to a 0-0 score line just as our girls were getting warmed up!
Defensive play (0-2)
It soon became Raffles’ turn to attack. Once again, the round started well and all bode well for our softball girls as we eliminated two of their players quickly. However, a slip during an attempt to catch a batted ball allowed one of the opponent players through to home base. The opponents then pulled off a fine bat and managed to score another point before our defenders tapped out a third player before she could reach the first base. The score line was two points in favour of Raffles, but it wasn’t over just yet!
Offensive play (1-2)
In this inning, our girls got their momentum and started to threaten the Rafflesian defense with a series of successful battings and judgments of foul pitches. Finally, a breakthrough came when Jean provided a stroke of brilliance and sent the ball swishing past all the infield and outfield Rafflesian defenders. Our runner on the second base was able to sprint all the way to home base as our opponents watched on, attempting to through the ball back to the infield defenders to tap her out but to no avail.
Defensive play (1-2)
This defensive round witnessed splendid play and a tight defense from our girls as we denied our opponents from gaining a single point. The first Rafflesian batter did manage to hit Xue Yi’s pitch, but little did she expect that her batting sent the ball high up into the air that resulted in an easy catch by our pitcher herself, dismissing the opponent’s first pitcher from the field. A second offense from the opponents was once again thwarted, this time by lightning fast reaction by our defense. The opposing batter pulled of a successful bat that did hit the floor, but only bounced far enough into the glove of one of our infield defenders. She threw it to Jean on the first base, and it was game over for our opponent as she has covered barely half the distance to the first base before Jean received the ball and waited to tap her out with ease. The final attempt to gain some ground by the opponents was once again easily obstructed by a good pitch by Xue Yi and wonderful defending from our girls. The batter once again, performed a successful bat, and this time posed some threat as it was not heading directly for any defender. However, one of our girls sprinted with all her might and caught the ball just as it was about to reach the ground. With that, the second inning was over and we reduced our score deficit to just one point!
Offensive play (1-2)
The third inning started as Xue Yi turned batter from pitcher. The opponent pitcher was unnerved under pressure and was unable to dismiss Xue Yi as four ‘balls’ from her pitches awarded Xue Yi a free walk to the second base! Next up was Jolene’s turn to bat. However, this time the opposing pitcher did pull of many good pitches and despite giving it her all, luck was not on her side as Jolene was struck out by 3 strikes by the pitcher. Our third batter in this round was Dinna. Once again, a series of foul pitches by the Rafflesian pitcher awarded Dinna with a free walk to the first base, while Xue Yi was allowed a free advancement to second base.
Next up was Nina as she came up to take the role of batter for our team. In this batting, Nina made a sacrificial bat after a few pitches by the opposing pitcher. This allowed for Xue Yi and Dinna to progress to the third and second base respectively but Nina herself was caught before she was able to advance to the first base. Our final batter for this inning was Chloe. After observing the pitcher’s pitches and tactics, Chloe finally selected a pitch that was good for her to bat and struck the ball with pinpoint accuracy into the sky. However, the opposing defenders were in time to cover the bat before it made contact with the ground. As this decent bat was negated by equally adequate defending, this catch meant that all batters on the field are dismissed from the play. In this offense, the girls showed some great effort and pushed our opponents to their maximum.
Defensive play (1-5)
The defensive portion for this inning saw a twist and turn of events that unfortunately, did not fall to our favour. Xue Yi was on good form when she was up against the first Rafflesian batter. With a series of marvelous pitches, three strikes achieved by her sent the first opposing batter out of play immediately. The following batter from Raffles came on and was outplayed immediately by our defensive player Jean as she was caught before being able to move to first base despite a successful bat. However, then came their next batter who was able to make it to second base with a good batting attempt. Unfortunately, Raffles picked up momentum from that sudden turn of events and caught us of guard. Their next better pulled off yet another good bat and sent the ball to outfield, allowing her to progress directly to second base and their previous batter at second base was able to run all the way to home base safely. Then came on their next batter, and with an almost exact replica of the previous scenario, allowed one runner to return to home base while the current batter progressed to second base once again. After this, Raffles managed another point before our girls steadied themselves and ended the Raffles offensive round. The final batter from Raffles was caught and with three outs, the inning ended with a score line of 1-5.
Fourth Inning (2-5)
Despite the odds being set against us, our girls are not going to give up without a fight! Our batter Jean came up first against the Rafflesian pitcher. After observing the situation, she gave the bat a swing and struck the ball, but was only able to get it as far as a Rafflesian defender before she managed to get to first base. Sue Mae then took on the Rafflesian pitcher and this time, with one cool swing, she hit the ball past the opponent’s defenders and ran to second base! Next, up our next batter came up against Raffles and showed them what the Hwa Chong spirit is all about. Jolene stepped up to the plate just when Hwa Chong needed her the most and pulled off a wonderful bat, allowing Sue Mae to complete a run of the final two bases and attain a point for Hwa Chong. Jolene herself made it to second base as well! Next up, Hannah took up the bat and once again gave us greater scoring chances as she attained a base herself. However, the opponents eventually denied Ming Hui, our next batter from adding additional advancements for our runners and managed to dismiss one of the runners on field. Eventually, although Xue Yi executed a fine bat, the Rafflesian defense covered it well to deny us of any additional points and dismissed all runners on field.
Defensive play (2-6)
Then came Raffles’ turn to stage their attack. The first batter did well to parry away Xue Yi’s good pitch and advanced to first pitch. Next up, the second batter made use of a decent batting to put their first runner onto the third base, sacrificing herself as she was dismissed after getting caught. Then came their third batter. The opponent stayed cool under pressure and pulled off a decent bat that slipped through our defense and allowed their runner on the third base to return to home base. She was able to get to first base in the process as well. However Hwa Chong pulled together after Raffles scored the point. The next batter was able to hit the ball, but our girls confined them to just an advancement of one base each, keeping them in play without scoring any point. Then came Raffles’ fifth batter. This time, they were not so lucky as our defense pulled together and caught one of the runners before she can get to another base. The opponent’s runner on the third base was unable to advance to home base either as she was in high risk of getting caught. We then successfully dismissed one more runner from the field when it came to the sixth Rafflesian batter and ended their attack.
Fifth Inning (2-6)
During the final inning, our first batter, Jolene was hit by a dead ball (a case when a ball is ruled out of play, and in this case happened as the pitch hit Jolene’s body). She was given a straight free walk to first base. However, our next batter Dinna was denied an opportunity to continue our attack as she was struck out of play. Nina then came on as our third batter. She kept cool under intense pressure and batted the ball, but was caught before reaching first base. On the bright side, Jolene was able to make it to second base! At last, despite further efforts from our final batter Chloe, the Raffles defense held on and ruled another one of our players out. The score at the end of this half was 2-6 in Raffles’ favour. The next half was the offensive inning for Raffles, but this was voided as there was no way an upset could occur any more.
Althought our team was unable to emerge as champions in this intense and tight fight, we are very proud of them as they never ever gave up for a single moment in the game. Well done Hwa Chong Softball Girls! We wish you all the best in future competition!
Hwa Chong Softball Team 2011/2012
Wei Yi Chen
38th ECACO Chairperson