By REDintern Khairulnizam
AR JAS Sports Centre, West Coast Rd, Wednesday, March 13, 2013 — Raffles Institution (RI) dominated defending champions Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) in a 7–3 win to claim the B Division Softball Championship title. RI were unbeaten in their run to the title.
In 2011, Raffles beat ACS(I) 9-2 in the final to retain their title after winning it in 2010. In 2012, RI were eliminated in the second round, and ACS(I) went on to beat Maris Stella High 14–3 to claim the championship title.
This year, ACS(I) breezed through their group stages, defeating Compassvale Secondary, St Gabriel’s Secondary and Damai Secondary, while losing only to Montfort Secondary. Meanwhile, Raffles beat all the teams in their group, which included Maris Stella High, Greendale Secondary and Woodlands Ring Secondary.
In the second round, Raffles continued their unbeaten streak, beating teams from Hwa Chong Institution, Anglican High and ACS(I) to qualify for the semi-finals. On the other hand, ACS(I), apart from their loss to RI, also went down to Anglican High.
This resulted in a three-way tie between Hwa Chong, Anglican High and ACS(I) as all three schools only had one win under their belt. ACS(I) made it into the semi-finals only because they had conceded the least number of runs (13).
In the semi-finals, ACS(I) scraped past opponents Catholic High 9-8 to qualify for the final while Raffles managed to beat Montfort 7-4.
Catholic High then went on to dominate Montfort 11-0 to finish third.
The first inning saw no runs as ACS(I) were unable to capitalise on Raffles’ mistakes.
Nicholas Proniewski (#56) of ACS(I) managed to make the first base in the second inning and after a couple of poor pitches by the Raffles pitcher Edward Lee (#54), ACS(I) managed to load the bases. Nicholas was batted in for ACS(I) to score the first run.
After the switchover, Raffles capitalised on ACS(I) mistakes to put runners on first and second base. The ACS(I) catcher then dropped a couple of balls to allow the Ye Zi An (#39) of RI to come home for their first run.
The next RI batter, Shaun Pua (#42), stepped up to the plate and sent the ball over the heads of the outfield catchers to bring home another runner for RI to lead 2–1 at the end of the second inning.
ACS(I) started the third inning on a low as they were unable to get anyone on base. At their turn to bat, RI went further ahead when their Jonathan Chua (#1) hit a home run for a 3–1 lead.
ACS(I) replied with a home run of their own in the fourth inning through Benjamin Lim (#25) to reduce the deficit to one before play was halted due to a lightning alert.
When the game resumed, ACS(I) had lost their momentum due to the break in play. Accurate RI hitting saw them load the bases and ACS(I) made costly errors. By the end of the inning, RI were leading 7–2.
The last inning started off with Kyosei Sago (#51) of ACS(I) getting a hit and eventually scoring. However, that was the only point they were able to get off a now more confident and motivated Raffles.
Three outs later, Raffles claimed victory as the 2013 B Division softball champions.
Benjamin Lim, the ACS(I) captain, said: “I felt that it was a great game and effort from both sides and we showed perseverance as not once did we give up. Although we lost, we are all proud of ourselves for what we accomplished. Raffles are worthy champions as they were unbeaten throughout season.”
“For me, the highlight of the game was when we were fielding. Even after making some costly errors and allowing Raffles to score, we did not give up and continued encouraging each other,” Benjamin added.
When asked on the targets and improvements the team was hoping for, he said: “We will continue to work even harder than we did, (knowing) what we are capable of doing now. Actually, we improved from 3rd place two years back in the C Division to a silver this year. We hope to improve further in our skills and grow as a team so that we can play even better together in the future.”
RI captain Joshua Takahashi (#17) said the rain delay was a turning point in the match.
“I think what decided the result was the determination we had after the rain stopped. Before that, we were stiff and nervous. However, during the rain delay, our teacher in charge encouraged us to play our own game, and we came together as a team to have a quick reflect on the first half of the game. So as the rain stopped, we gained confidence, and came back strong, with our pitcher getting back his touch and the batters being more calm when batting.”
“When we won the final match, I felt a sense of accomplishment, as well as the joy of winning as a team. Throughout the season, our team trained hard to improve on our weaknesses, and with the help of our parents, supporters and teammates, we were able to finish it well, attaining the B div championship,” he added.
Score by Inning
RI vs ACS(I)
1st Inning: 0-0
2nd Inning: 2-1
3rd Inning: 3-1
4th Inning: 7-2
5th Inning: 7-3
Jacques Burns (#4), Shaktivel (#5), Gabriel Tay (#7), Brandon Song (#9), Marc Chan (#11), Mathieu Proniewski (#12), Matthew Aw (#17), Benjamin Lim (#25), Enoch Loo (#37), Kyosei Sago (#51), Nicholas Proniewski (#56), Gabriel Takatsune Leong (#60), Chia Jeng Long (#77), Rakesh Ravinder Gill (#91), Kim Young Hown (#99)
Jonathan Chua (#1), Andrew Tan (#15), Joshua Takahashi (#17), Cher Wee Zheng (#19), Er Jun Jia (#25), Russell Boon (#37), Ye Zi An (#39), John Chew Geronimo Jr. (#41), Shaun Pua (#42), Gabriel Ng (#44), Edward Lee (#54), Sunaga Ryuto (#63), Chen Ching Kuang (#69), Daryl Kow (#72), Tien Chun (#74),
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