Cabrera satisfied with Lady Batters’ bronze; preps for Season 82 begin

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters held a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis and were in fact one win away from claiming at least a silver medal in the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament. However, back-to-back losses against the UST Golden Tigresses not only prevented them from advancing to the championship round, but ultimately put a dot in their campaign.

Eager to bounce back from their Game 1 defeat, they held UST scoreless in the first inning, and even drew first blood in the second inning with two runs. From there on, however, doors were shut by the Golden Tigresses.

Head coach Jasper Cabrera admitted that the opponents were quick to check La Salle’s pitches. “Pinaghandaan talaga nila si Kiana (Juan). Tumama agad sila.” On the other hand, his players could not return the favor in their offense. “Kami naman, hindi naman nagclick yung batting namin.”

Third place: Bonus, big achievement

Regardless of the elimination, the Lady Batters definitely made a huge run in Season 81. Their 8-6 overall win-loss record catapulted them to the podium at third place, three places higher compared to Season 80 and clearly their best record in years. Their season was highlighted by a 3-0 start and a near sweep of the second round.

“Kalat na kalat tayo noon. Binuo lang natin yan,” Cabrera reminded the Lady Batters as they dealt with lineup problems, converting players from one position to another prior the tournament. He was beyond satisfied with what the outcome.

The Cebuano coach commended his veterans, led by Bacolod-native team captain Jamica Arribas, while also mentioning some of his rookies. “Maganda ang ginagawa nila (Arribas) this season. Yung rookies naman, nagdeliver talaga.”

The soft-spoken tactician reiterated, “Mataas na sa amin actually yung third place. Top four lang naman (ang goal namin), pero bonus na yung naging third place.”

The Lady Batters also received heaps of praises from no less than DLSU Office of Sports Development (OSD) Executive Director Emmanuel Calanog. The former Green Batter, who also happened to be a team manager of the Lady Batters, affirmed, “As long as you put in the work today and masasabi niyo sa sarili niyo na nagawa niyo ang lahat, whatever the result was, wala kayong ikakahiya sa sarili niyo.”

“Technically, you’re the Number 2 team after the eliminations. This is already an achievement in itself,” Calanog added. “Maski sa akin, big achievement ito.”

Season 82: Pick up where they left off

Cabrera continued his postseason pep talk, “Be proud sa sarili niyo kasi umabot tayo hanggang dito. Yung iba nagbabakasyon na, tayo lumaban pa rin.”

“Everything today, tapos na ito. Ilabas niyo na ang sama ng loob niyo kung natalo tayo,” Calanog told the Lady Batters last Monday. He added, “Mindset for next season starts tomorrow. Whether physical or mental, preparations start tomorrow.”

They may currently be wrapping up their UAAP Season 81 episode, but it seems like the sequel is already underway for them. The Lady Batters, however, will be without veterans Mercy Arroyo and Badeth Benson anymore, who will be joining Arribas as they cap off their UAAP careers.

“Mawawalan kami ng tatlo, pero build up lang ng panibagong training. Kailangang makakuha din kami ng may ganung skills, parehas na level,” Cabrera shared on recruiting players who will fill in the shoes of Arribas, Arroyo, and Benson.

As they receive the bronze in the awarding program on Tuesday, April 2, the Lady Batters assure the Lasallian community that they will be picking up where they left off in Season 82. They have tasted the Final Four experience, and they will definitely come back be hungrier.

Lady Batters exit Season 81 at third place after bowing to UST

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.

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.

Lady Batters return favor to UST with a sweep in battle for semis bonus

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters gave the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses a dose of their own medicine with a mercy rule defeat, 7-0, in their second round meeting in the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament yesterday, March 18 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

It can be remembered that it was the Golden Tigresses who stained the Lady Batters’ erstwhile immaculate win-loss record of 3-0 via mercy rule, 7-0, back in the first round of the tournament.

Both squads entered the game with an identical 7-4 win-loss record. But with the last twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals at stake, the Lady Batters showed the Golden Tigresses they were the hungrier team in the game.

Rookie pitcher Kiana Juan immediately struck out two offenders as UST had no chance to score. On the offensive end, the Lady Batters took every chance they got. Nica Velasco got a walk first. Later on, Mercy Arroyo followed triple with RBI, bringing the former home.

At the bottom of the third frame, Velasco reached the second base. Team captain Jamica Arribas then made sure that her team would secure their lead by making a home run, sending her and Velasco home. La Salle was ahead, 3-0, after the third inning.

Chinny Ejar started off the fourth period with a single followed by Miranda’s triple with RBI that brought Ejar home. Velasco then kept the streak going with a double and an RBI to add Miranda to the Lady Batters’ offensive party.

The España-based squad remained scoreless after five innings. On the other hand, the Taft-based squad have already put five markers on the board.

With the Tigresses still unable to put themselves up, a huge window opened for La Salle to prematurely end the match. And they did so as the Lady Batters finished it with a bang. Miranda’s single opened the bottom of the sixth. Afterwards, Velasco scored a double with RBI that delivered Miranda home. Badeth Benson also got a walk. Arribas finally capped it with a single and RBI for an easy jog all the way home for Velasco.

Head coach Jasper Cabrera ended the game with smiles as he witnessed her wards creating history for La Salle. “First time mag-Top Two in years. Palaging nagkaroon ng tie break sa Top Four pero natatalo,” the soft-spoken coach said.

Cabrera also praised her rookie pitcher. “Naimpress ako kay (Kiana) Juan. Sinasabi ko sa kanya, ‘limang taon ka dito sa La Salle, aalagaan ka dito. Mas mataas na ang level ninyo ngayon dahil maganda ang pinakita ninyo.'”

With the victory, they setup a semifinals series against the same opponent. But, they will hold an important twice-to-beat advantage over the third-placed UST.

“Pinaalala ko sa kanila na maglaro nang natural kagaya ngayon. Walang nerbyos para magawa ang lahat ng gusto,” the coach spoke briefly on how they are planning to head to the playoffs.

The DLSU Lady Batters (8-4) will face UST in the first game of the semifinals on Saturday, March 23, 11 AM at the same venue.

Fourth straight win powers Lady Batters return to Final Four

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters picked up their fourth straight win last Thursday, March 14, after upsetting the UE Lady Red Warriors in a come-from-behind fashion, 8-7, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Still without blemish in the second round of eliminations, the Lady Batters remain steady at the second spot of the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament.

Moreover, their seventh win of the season proved enough to mark their return to the Final Four.

Team captain Jamica Arribas lauded the team’s resiliency as the team battled through a 3-6 disadvantage against UE midway through the game. “Hindi kami sumusuko kahit ahead na sa amin yung kalaban.”

But for head coach Jasper Cabrera, it was Arribas’ leadership that made it possible for the team to achieve their victory. “It would not be possible without, of course, the leadership of our captain.

Jamica, as a veteran and team captain, was able to lead the team well in terms of emotional aspect. It was not easy at the the start, but we are thankful that they are doing very well together under the leadership of their captain.”

Now that the Lady Batters are through the playoffs, their next target is to try to make it to the top two. “We are aiming na makapasok sa top two dahil advantage yun sa crossover,” said Arribas.

However, it will be a tall order as they will be up against two of the squads that dealt them losses in the first round, having Adamson and UST back-to-back as their remaining assignments. Arribas and her team will secure the second seed if they win both games.

Around the league, the Lady Falcons, the defending champions, have already secured their spot in the playoffs. Also racing for a good position in the Final Four are UST and NU.

Cabrera believes that the Lady Batters in terms of skills can truly compete. “The Lady Batters are well-skilled,” he shared. However, he also noted the need to improve the team’s fighting spirits to make up for their lack of exposure to ‘championship’ games. “We have to improve their fighting spirits. Our team is not exposed to championship games.” He continued, “They have to absorb that they already won several games and let that sink in. They defeated good teams, and now they are being looked up to as good too.”

On the other hand, Arribas specifically mentioned the team’s inconsistency in hitting. According to her, the Lady Batters still have to show more consistency if they wish to collect more wins. “We need to improve our hitting and tibay pa rin ng loob.”

They will face Adamson later today, 11 AM, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Lady Batters outduel NU in late comeback for third straight victory

Photo by: Rina Mutiangpili

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters avenged their first round loss in an intense come-from-behind victory against the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs, 6-5, in the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament, earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

With the win, the Lady Batters climbed up to solo second with a win-loss record of 6-3 to remain in hunt of a postseason ticket.

At the top of the second inning, the Lady Batters defended the bases well, while the Lady Bulldogs continued their batting woes. At the bottom, La Salle remained a nightmare for the opponent as rookie pitcher Juan sent the ball in the center field for a run that brought her and another Lady Batter in the home plate to get onboard, 2-0, at the end of the inning.

With two early outs at the top of the fourth inning, NU threatened La Salle with two Lady Bulldogs at the first and third bases. Eventually, the Lady Bulldogs gained momentum and snatched the lead, 3-2, before getting their third out.

Down at the top of the fifth inning, the Lady Bulldogs extended their lead as they scored another run. However, the Taft-based squad edged their opponent. With Chinny Ejar already out, Miranda was rewarded a walk to first base before a Mercy Arroyo hit sent Miranda home, Nica Velasco to third and herself to first base to inch closer. As they continued to threaten the opponent, La Salle sent the ball into the deep left field where Velasco and Arroyo took advantage of. The duo fought for the home plate in a wild sequence that was fortunately ruled as safe for Velasco. An NU error at home made a run for Arroyo, which was also ruled as safe to regain the lead, 5-4. Team captain Jamica Arribas added a run to end the inning with her team up, 6-4.

The Lady Bulldogs made a run in the sixth inning, but was not able to tie the game in the last inning, sealing the come-from-behind win for the Green and White, 6-5.

“Nagwork out talaga yung ginawa namin kahapon na practice,” head coach Jasper Cabrera said regarding their four runs in the fifth inning.

“Unahan man kami ng score, wag lang magpanic dahil anytime matatamaan namin yan kasi mapapagod din yung pitcher nila, at alam na namin yung game plan ng catcher. Sumunod naman yung players at nai-deliver agad nila kaya umiscore kami ng four runs,” he added.

Cabrera had some words to motivate his team, “Ang lagi ko lang sinasabi sa kanila, kung pwede itatak niyo sa isip niyo yan (the win), para hindi niyo makalimutan yung goal natin na Final Four muna.”

The DLSU Lady Batters (6-3) will try to sweep the UE Lady Red Warriors in the elimination round on Thursday, March 14, 9AM at the same venue.

Lady Batters frustrate Fighting Lady Maroons to start Round 2

Photo by: Kiana Carlos

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters broke their three-game slump with a commanding 10-3 victory against the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Lady Maroons in the second round of the UAAP Season 81 Softball Tournament yesterday, March 4, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

With the win, the Lady Batters keep themselves above 0.500 with a 4-3 win-loss record after finishing with 3-3 at the end of the first round.

Contrary to their previous outings, the Lady Batters showcased a different performance today, starting strong with a zinger to middle-left by team captain Jamica Arribas that sent Alipato to third base. A boomer by Badeth Benson put the Green and White on the scoring board as it brought Alipato home. Soon after, a double by Roselle Dela Rosa extended their lead to three, 3-0, to end the top of the first inning. On the defensive end, an error by La Salle sent UP’s Ferrer to second base, to which they capitalized with a run by Suelto. A wonderful diving save by Chinny Ejar from a sac bunt prevented the Fighting Maroons from adding more runs. La Salle led UP after one inning, 3-1.

Rookie Kiana Juan partnered her good pitching in the previous inning with spectacular hitting that immediately brought her to second base. A sac bunt by Miranda moved her to third base. Then, a Nica Velasco boomer to the left gave La Salle a 4-1 lead. A miscommunication by DLSU sent UP’s Bernabe to second base, but the former made up for it with good defense that kept the opponents shut.

The Taft-based squad slowed down in the third inning with Alipato, Arribas, and Benson failing to beat the throws. The Lady Maroons took advantage of this, starting the bottom of the third inning with a well-timed hit by Suelto for a double. A zinger by Legaspi then sent her home, cutting UP’s deficit to two, 2-4. Another runner eventually scored for UP to pull them to within one, 3-4, at the end of the third frame.

La Salle started the fourth inning with a walk for Dela Rosa. A miscue by the basemen gave Dela Rosa an easy run, breaking UP’s momentum. The Lady Batters, however, failed to take advantage of their loaded bases and no-outs as Velasco, Arroyo, and Alipato all soon struck out to end the top of the inning. Meanwhile, Juan once again showcased her spectacular pitching, returning the favor to three consecutive batters of the opposing squad. The Lady Batters remained up, 5-3.

A walk by Velasco started things off for the Lady Batters in the sixth inning, followed by a pop-fly by Mercy Arroyo, moving Velasco to second base. Benson’s double finally brought Velasco home, extending La Salle’s lead to 6-3.

In the last inning, a pitching error by UP gave Ejar a walk. A roller by Juan sent her to third base, before Arroyo capped it off with a run that gave La Salle a four-point advantage, 7-3. The Lady Batters showed no signs of stopping as Arribas brought Juan home. Benson batted a boomer that sealed the deal for La Salle, sending two runners home for a final score of 10-3.

“Ang sarap ng feeling na nakuha naming ‘tong sa UP. Yun ang target namin eh,” said head coach Jasper Cabrera, referring to his team sweeping the opponents in the eliminations. “Yung motivation namin sa players, magclick lang yung batting nila, mabuo yung kumpiyansa ito bumaling yung strength namin, yung three wins nung first round,” he added.

He also commended rookie pitcher Kiana Juan’s performance on today’s game. “Malaking bagay nakuha namin ito para mabuo yung kumpiyansa nila at tuloy tuloy na itong batting nila. Maganda yung pinakita ng rookie naming na si Juan, 10 strikeouts.”

The DLSU Lady Batters (4-3) will face Ateneo on Thursday, March 7, 1 PM at the same venue. They defeated the Lady Eagles in the first round, 8-1.

Lady Batters fall short anew in match that went the distance against NU

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters failed to bounce back as they suffered their second straight defeat at the hands of the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs, 4-5, in an extended game earlier today, February 25, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

With this defeat, the Lady Batters dropped to a 3-2 win-loss record after winning their first three games of the season.

Rookie Kiana Juan got things started for the Green and White as her boomer to the right sent Mercy Arroyo home, bringing them in front, 1-0. The Lady Batters partnered their good offense with good defense to prevent the opponent from scoring any runs.

The Lady Batters started the second inning strong with a zinger by Roselle Dela Rosa that sent her to first base. Not long after, an error by the first baseman pushed Dela Rosa and Chinny Ejar to second and first bases, respectively. However, a forced out called on La Salle resulted in a triple play for NU to finish the top of the inning. The Lady Bulldogs walked Juan twice, but she made up for it as the rookie pitcher struck out the next batter.

A boomer to the center-left gave Arribas a triple, but the Lady Bulldogs were able to defend well and prevent the Lady Batters from extending their lead by getting Alipato out at first. NU capitalized on La Salle’s errors with a beautiful hit to the middle to tie things up at 1-apiece at the tail of the third inning.

The Lady Batters started slow in the fourth inning with Badeth Benson and Dela Rosa flying out. Ejar and Miranda barely beat the throw to bring them to first and second bases, respectively, but Miranda got tagged soon to end the top of the fourth. With all bases loaded, NU added runs to the scoreboard and took over the lead, 2-1, following a Banatao hit that brought Rosales home.

The Lady Bulldogs closed the doors for the Lady Batters as the former immediately threw out Jamica Arribas and Juan to end the top of the fifth. A walk by Ramos increased the opposing squad’s lead to two, 3-1. Not long after, a pop fly to the left sent another Lady Bulldog home, pushing their lead to three, 4-1, at the tail of the fifth inning.

La Salle got the momentum on their side as Ejar’s wonderful hit to the left brought Benson home. The Green and White failed to add more runs as Dela Torre struck out Nica Velasco to end the top of the sixth inning. The Lady Batters showed perfect defense as they did not allow any Lady Bulldog from reaching the first base. La Salle remained behind, 2-4.

The Taft-based squad rode on the momentum they built from the previous inning and began with a double from Arroyo with the help of a catching error from a Lady Bulldog. Arribas took charge and hit a two-run home run that sent Arroyo and herself home, tying things up and bringing DLSU back in the game, 4-4. The team captain replaced Juan as the pitcher of the Lady Batters. With all Bulldogs’ bases loaded and counts full, the Green and White did not waver and converted with a good catch to retain the score line at 4-all to add another inning to the game.

At the top of the eighth inning, Velasco’s double sent Dela Rosa to third base, before Dela Torre struck out Arroyo. The Lady Bulldogs showed composure and immediately loaded all the bases. A miscue by the Lady Batters as Ejar failed to catch Arribas’ pitch gave NU the walk-off win, 5-4.

Team Captain Arribas expressed her dismay over her team’s tough loss. “Sayang eh. Ang lungkot matalo kasi parang andun na. Nagkulang kami sa hitting, pero andun naman. May times na lumalaban kami. Kaso, nandun pa rin yung kaba. Pati ako kinakabahan ako yung time na sobrang dikit na.”

Regardless, she noted for the team’s next game, “Prepare na yung lapses namin sa ngayong game saka last game ma-overcome namin yun, saka improve talaga in hitting.”

Support the DLSU Lady Batters as they attempt to go back to their winning ways against the defending champions Adamson Soaring Lady Falcons on Saturday, March 2, 9 AM at the same venue.

Lady Batters receive first loss of the season via mercy rule from UST

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Batters bowed down to last season’s runner-up University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses, and ended their three-game winning streak with a mercy rule defeat, 0-7, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium earlier today, February 23.

The Lady Batters started the game slow with only team captain Jamica Arribas reaching the first base. On the contrary, the Espana-based squad capitalized DLSU’s errors as Tiozon immediately brought three runners home. Not long after, Hernandez sends another Golden Tigress home, bringing them in front at the end of the first inning, 4-0.

Different to how they started the first inning, the Lady Batters started the second inning strong, loading all the bases at some point, but still failed to get on board. The Taft-based squad defended well on the bottom inning, preventing any batters from the Espana-based squad from advancing to the first base. UST still held on to the lead with the same score.

Velasco started it off for the Green and White in the third inning, but the Golden Tigresses deemed too strong for the Lady Batters as they prevented the latter from scoring any runs.

A glimmer of hope for the Lady Batters was seen in the fourth inning as the Golden Tigresses committed several catching errors, but La Salle failed to take advantage of the miscues even after loading all the bases. The Black and Gold showed composure after the confusion, immediately loading their bases. Palma’s boomer to the right puts the nail to the coffin as it sent three runners home, pushing their lead to seven, 7-0.

The Lady Batters still failed to put runs on board at the top of the fifth inning, resulting in a mercy rule defeat.

Head coach Jasper Cabrera stated that the four immediate runs by the Growling Tigresses in the first inning really made the difference in the team’s morale. “Yung first inning yung mabigat sa mga bata. Kulang na sa drive yung laro. Kung ganito naman yung motivation namin sa kanila, parang malambot yung first inning.” He further stated that the amount of errors committed were just too much. “Yung errors lang talaga namin yung nakatalo.”

Catch the Lady Batters as they attempt to bounce back against the NU Lady Bulldogs on Monday, February 25 at the same venue.

‘Fighting spirit’ key to Lady Batters early victories, says Arribas

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.”