School sports: Anthia's home run helps ACJC regain Schools National A girls' softball crown

Anglo-Chinese Junior College's Anthia Yuan, 18, runs pass first base before scoring a home run during the match between River Valley High School on May 12, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG  
Anglo-Chinese Junior College's Anthia Yuan, 18, runs pass first base before scoring a home run during the match between River Valley High School on May 12, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG  

ANGLO-CHINESE Junior College (ACJC) reclaimed the Schools National A Division girls' softball title with a 2-0 win over hosts River Valley High School on Tuesday.

The scores had stood at 0-0 for four innings and it came down to the final batter in their line-up - Anthia Yuan, 18 - who hit a home run which allowed her to bring in another player along with her to score the points.

Said Anthia of her first home run of the season, which allowed the ACSians to regain the championship they lost to River Valley in last year's final: "I was focused on getting a single or to just contact the ball nicely. But it was still pressurising because of the two strikes that I got before."

The victory over defending champions River Valley was all the more noteworthy as ACJC pitcher Wong Rui En, 17, suffered an injury in the last inning after her throwing hand was hit by the ball and their head coach was overseas.

However, Rui En who is playing her first season with the team, insisted on soldiering on despite the umpire's attempts to persuade her to be substituted. She said: "I wanted to continue to finish on a good note especially since there was only one batter left."

When asked whether the absence of their head coach Elaine Chua affected their morale during the game, ACJC's captain, Jolyn Ho, 19, explained that Chua had informed them early in the season and thus they had sufficient notice and were mentally prepared for her absence.

River Valley's captain, Ong Jia Hui, 18, felt that it was a pity that her team did not manage to put up a better performance despite the high morale they enjoyed at the start of the game. She added: "I think we put up a good fight but batting could have been improved. But I think we put up a good defence."

River Valley remained gracious yet determined in defeat. Their teacher in charge Goh Yong Hang said: "I want to congratulate them (ACJC) on their win but we will be back."