Following their unscathed win-loss record, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters have become the surprise league-leaders early in the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament standings.
After chalking up only four wins against eight losses last season, La Salle could only settle for sixth place. However, the Lady Batters have now collected victories in each of their outings this season.
They opened up their campaign with a 5-3 rout of the UE Lady Warriors. Then, they followed it up with a 4-3 walk against the UP Fighting Lady Maroons, before overwhelming an Ateneo squad with an 8-1 domination.
“Ang sarap sa pakiramdam na manalo kasi yun yung nagpapaboost ng fighting spirit namin,” team captain Jamica Arribas described their early victories.
The Lady Batters, who had a rather poor start in Season 80, secured only one of their first four assignments. This eventually led them to finishing second to the last among seven participating squads.
Now with their three straight victories to start the new season, the Lady Batters are not only one win shy of tying their overall output in Season 80. They have also already overtaken their most number of consecutive wins last season, which was only two.
Arribas believes that her team has what it takes to compete with the rest of the long-time contenders. “Hindi kami basta-basta ngayon. Kaya din namin tumapat and may ipapakita din kami.”
Nonetheless, she remains hopeful that her team can sustain their good start. “Hindi kami papayag na matalo kasi gusto namin i-maintain yung winning streak and yung magandang record,” she stressed.
It is not an unusual sight in sports that some, after starting on good notes, later on succumb to different pressures and fall ultimately. Such case is not far from the Lady Batters, although their team captain reaffirms her teammates’ fighting spirit.
“Importanteng hindi kami magkaroon ng conflict para as one pa rin kami maglaro. Magaan maglaro pag wala kaming conflict, and iba yung takbo ng team kapag buo kami.”
The Lady Batters season, however, will only get tougher as they square off with the teams that swept them last season. Next in their assignments will be the runners up, the UST Golden Tigresses.
The soft-spoken Arribas only expects that they can translate their hitting practices to their games. “Ineexpect ko na lalabas talaga yung mga tunay na palo namin, kung paano kami maghitting sa trainings.”
She believes that her ladies can show more of their fighting spirit for the rest of the season. “Alam ko na may maipapakita pa yung team namin sobra.”