2012: Match Report: Softball Boys FinalsMay 22nd, 2012 by CCA PRO
On 15th May, our very own Softball Boys went all out against their traditional rivals Raffles Institution in a challenging fight for the championship title. With a final earth-shaking cheer, Team Hwa Chong was ready to face their opponents.
After 5 physically and mentally demanding innings, our guys put up a good fight but were eventually outmatched 3-0.
A peek at the team!
First Base–#20 Jiafan
Second Base–#12 Desmond
Third Base–#17 Jun Wei
#9 Aaron Chia
And now, some rules!
There are 9 players on a softball team, who play on a playing field divided into the infield and outfield. Any ball going outside the 1st or 3rd base line is a foul ball (runners can not advance and the batter gets another try unless the ball was caught in the air, which translates to an out).
There are 5 innings (a inning is when both teams have had their turn to bat).
A run is scored every time a base runner touches all four bases, in the sequence of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and home.
Pop up – ball hit up in the air to the infield
Strike – term used when a ball is swung at and missed or is called when the ball enters the strike zone and is not swung at all.
Grounder – A ball that is hit on the ground
Now, let the game begin!
Offensive play (0-0)
Team Hwa Chong started off on the wrong foot with the first two of our batters striking out, after trying their best to contact the ball and send it out. They remained composed and Joshua managed to contact the ball, sending it to the Raffles shortstop. The grounder was hard and fast, causing the Raffles player to panic and overthrow, allowing Joshua to advance to second base. Alston, the fourth batter, was unfortunately hit by the Raffles pitcher. A free base was given and he advanced to one. Up next was David. He hit a high ball towards third base but the Raffles third base player caught it in the air, making the three outs and concluding our offensive play.
Defensive play (0-1)
It was Raffles’ turn to attack. Despite our pitcher, Edmond’s fast and accurate pitches, Raffles’ first batter hit a home run to left field before our players could tag him out. The second batter hit a fast grounder to our second baseman, Desmond. He fielded the ball flawlessly and threw the batter out at 1. The subsequent pitches were perfect, striking the fifth Raffles batter out after he let a tricky strike pass.
Offensive Play (0-1)
The Raffles pitcher, affected by Hwa Chong’s support and the immense pressure, hit Marcel with a wild pitch. This earned him a free base! In the next play, he tried to steal to 2 with his lightning legs but the umpire’s call was not in our favour, and he was tagged out. Next batter Desmond had three strikes against him but due to an error made by the Raffles catcher, Desmond could make an effort towards 1.
Defensive Play (0-3)
This play started well with two Raffles batters striking out and a player on second base. Our players slipped up and allowed two of our opponents to reach home, scoring two more runs against us, resulting in a 0-3 score. But no matter, there was still a lot of time to catch up.
Offensive Play (0-3)
After two good at-bats, our players unfortunately struck out. This series of misfortunes continued when Samuel managed to foul the change up, but was called out due to the play “foul tip”.
Defensive play (0-3)
Our players, driven and unaffected by the score, proceeded to their third defensive play. Our pitcher, Edmond, had a streak of brilliant pitches once again and struck the batter out. However, the next batter managed to contact the ball and sent it back to Edmond. Fortunately, Desmond was alert and with his lightning reflexes, threw the runner out at 1. Just as Kelvin was subbed in to play, the batter hit a pop to left field, allowing Kelvin to catch the ball in the air and eliminate the batter without much effort. Our players were successful in holding the Raffles team down with the score stagnant at 3-0!
Offensive Play (0-3)
With two more innings to go, our boys tried their best to get on base in order to reduce the score margin. Joshua had a good at-bat once again, testing the perseverance of his opponents, but the opponent unfortunately caught the ball before he could advance to first base. The opponent lost momentum and control of the ball, pitching a wild ball straight at Alston. In pain but still determined and ready, Alston sprinted to 2 once the next play started. But his slide was a split second too late and the opponent tagged him out before he could reach the base.
Defensive play (0-3)
This inning showcased the impregnability of our defense and concluded quickly as our players managed to eliminate the opponents before they could get on base. Joshua our center fielder caught the high ball batted by the opponent with impeccable judgment, eliminating the batter. Edmond had great control over his pitches and with six strikes, the next two batters had to return to the dugout without even touching the ball. Our boys continued to hinder the opponents from scoring more runs, maintaining the 3-0 score.
This was the last chance to turn the tables against Raffles and clinch the well-deserved championship title. Jiafan judged the pitches well and left the tempting balls alone to hit a nice, center pitch. With his strength, the ball travelled great distances to left field. What bad luck it was that the opponent’s decent defense nullified Jiafan’s efforts, causing him to be eliminated after a good catch made by Raffles. In his last game for Hwa Chong, Benji provided a last glimmer of hope by batting a hard and fast grounder that the opponent was unable to catch. With him safe at one, Junwei tried his best to advance his teammate. He chose the pitches wisely and sent the ball fast and far to centerfield. Despite his efforts, the opponent clung onto their lead and ended the tough match with a good catch.
Our boys will definitely come back stronger and faster next year and will challenge the defending champions for the coveted championship title again! Their resilience and 自强不息 spirit was clearly displayed in this finals and Hwa Chong would like to congratulate them for their brilliant efforts and great sportsmanship.
Well done softball boys! We are proud of you!
Credits: Annette Wong from Softball who helped in writing the match report.