Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters ended their spectacular run in the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament following a 2-9 mercy rule defeat against the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses earlier today, March 25, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Tigresses forced a deciding match after cancelling out the Lady Batters’ twice-to-beat advantage in Game 1 of the semifinals.
Coming off a scoreless first inning. it was a wild sequence for both squads in the second canto. La Salle changed the tides when Gladelyn Alipato got a single as UST fumbled with the ball. Chinny Ejar then capitalized this with a double that brought Alipato home. La Salle’s killer instinct did not stop there. Following this action, a Kiana Juan high-flier sent Ejar to third base. Lalaine Cunanan then capped it off with a zinger that extended the Green and White’s lead to two, 2-0.
UST’s Palma and Guevarra each got quick singles as Tiozon immediately batted a double that pushed them to third and second bases, respectively. A sac bunt by Belaro caught the scrambling Lady Batters off-guard, resulting in a run by Guevarra. Soon after, the Taft-Based squad found themselves down by one after a double by a pinch hitter sent two Golden Tigresses home for a 3-2 lead.
Stellar defense from the Espana-based squad closed the doors for La Salle in the third inning with easy catches on Mercy Arroyo and Alipato’s respective hits, while Badeth Benson failed to beat the throw.
On the other hand, the Golden Tigresses stepped on the gas pedal and never looked back. Sales immediately sent Bellaro home following a Dela Cruz double boomer to the left. Palma then capitalized on La Salle’s errors to add more fuel to the fire. It was total collapse for the Lady Batters as another Tiozon triple and Barredo single off a low ball ballooned UST’s lead to five, 7-2.
The Batting woes continued for the Lady Batters as Ejar, Juan, and Cunanan’s hit were all too easy for the UST fielders, resulting in three immediate outs for La Salle.
The España-based squad continued their killer instinct highlighted by a homerun by Dela Cruz. Palma hit the nail in the coffin with a double that further pushed La Salle down, 2-9, to end the fourth inning.
The Lady Batters waved the white flag in the fifth inning after two easy catches on Miranda and Arroyo’s hits and Velasco failing to beat the throw.
Head coach Jasper Cabrera rued the Lady Batters’ batting and pitching problems. “Wala talaga. Naglack talaga kami sa batting, tsaka yung pitcher namin na-check na nila. Kuha na nila, pang-apat na game na namin ito. Sa pitcher talaga okay lang sila kung bumabawi kami.”
Nevertheless, the girls will be up on the podium for the first time in more than a decade. After placing sixth in Season 80, they end Season 81 at third place. They finished second in the eliminations a win-loss record of 8-4, and an overall 8-6 slate for the season.
Team captain Jamica Arribas lead this year’s batch of graduating Lady Batters. Along with her are Badeth Benson and Mercy Arroyo.