Lady Batters drop semis advantage as UST forces rubber match

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters yielded to the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses, 6-12, in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament Semifinals yesterday, March 23, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

After a good defensive play that resulted a scoreless first inning for both La Salle and UST, the latter gained their momentum in the top second inning. After UST’s Belaño returned to home, a swing at the center field by Dela Torre converted into a homerun, send her and Barredo at home. The Tigresses ended the top second inning with a strong hit to the left field by Guevarra, to return home together with Dela Cruz and Sales to stretch the lead, 0-6.

However, the Green-and-White returned the favor to their opponent. With Lady Batter Benson and Alipato at third and fourth base, respectively, a double by rookie Kiana Juan sent the formers at home to get on board ending the second inning, 2-6.

The Lady Batters showed strong defensive play in the top third frame. However, the Tigresses was able to add another run before closing the top third. Meanwhile, La Salle struggled on offense that resulted to a scoreless inning.

The Taft-based squad continued to be aggressive on defense, as the Lady Batters gave the Tigresses a scoreless fourth inning through easy catches. The Lady Batters proved that good defense leads to good offense. After Cunanan was awarded with a walk and Alipato advanced to second base, it was Rookie Kiana Juan’s homerun through a strong hit in the deep center field to cut the deficit down to two. La Salle trails, 5-7 at the end of fourth.

With early two outs, the Lady Batters struggled to close the top fifth inning. The Tigresses was able to convert a total of five runs before Veteran Benson catches Guevarra’s full swing to end UST’s hot offense. At the bottom fifth, with Alipato batting, Captain Arribas and Benson took advantage a catching error to move at third and second base, respectively. Lady Batter Alipato did not waste the opportunity to hit an RBI for Arribas to return at home. At the end of the fifth inning, La Salle still trails, 6-12.

Both the sixth and seventh frame resulted to a scoreless inning to end the match. The Lady Batters was forced by the Golden Tigresses in a do-or-die game after a 6-12 final score.

Team captain Jamica Arribas ended the game with high hopes as they head to a do-or-die match on Monday. “Nakita ko naman everyone in the team wanted to win.”

Talking about their second chance, “Mabuti lang that we have advantage na twice-to-beat. At sa chance na ito, we will do our best para makabawi at makuha din ang win.”

The Lady Batters will need a near-perfect performance in Game 2 of the semis. “The key is everyone’s best performance.” She added that their fighting spirit will boost the team’s morale.

The DLSU Lady Batters look to bounce back and seal the last Finals spot on Monday, March 25, 10 AM at the same venue.'

Jhenel Laus


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