|AdU (4-0), 1st||0||0||13||0||13||11||0|
|NU (1-3), T-5th||2||0||0||1||3||3||4|
In a rematch of last year’s softball finals, the Adamson Lady Falcons fended off a slow start and churned in 13 runs in the 3rd inning to mercy rule last season’s 2nd place finishers, the National University Bulldogs, last Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
In an interview prior to Saturday’s showdown, Adamson coach Ana Santiago told us that the finals series against the Lady Bulldogs last season was the biggest threat to the streak of the Lady Falcons. All the games in the series were close, with Adamson scoring on late inning runs that propelled them to the championship, escaping with the streak intact.
Saturday’s game had NU sophomore Mia Macapagal face-off against reigning MVP Annalie Benjamen in the pitching position. Macapagal gave up no hits at the top of the 1st. She struck out first batter Queeny Sabobo. Lorna Adorable and Benjamen were walked. With the bases loaded in the 1st and 2nd bases and two outs, Angelie Ursabia was putout on 1st base leaving Adorable and Benjamen on base.
At the bottom of the 1st inning, Benjamen quickly struck out Dyan Arago and Kristine Acuña. Next at-bat, Chaira Damasing was then walked to 1st base due to balls. Ghene Nietes hit a homerun deep into the left field that placed NU up 2-0 on the scoreboards.
Macapagal again gave up no hits at the top of the 2nd including a strikeout of AdU’s Gelyn Lamata. Not to be outdone in the inning, Benjamen struck-out Rose Torres, Colleen Alilin, and Baby Gequillo consecutively to end the inning.
The NU Lady Bulldogs started the 3rd inning with a huge double play. After a Sabobo single to first base, a grounder by Adorable was caught by 2nd baseman Arago for an unassisted putout of Sabobo then a pass to 1st baseman Acuña resulted to an Adorable out.
With two quick outs to start the inning, the Adamson coaching staff called for a quick huddle. Whatever Coach Santiago and her staff told the Lady Falcons worked, as the squad exposed the defense of the Lady Bulldogs in the inning. Florable Pabiania hit a single. NU 3rd baseman Nietes committed a catching error after a Benjamen hit gave the Lady Falcons two bases. The bases were then loaded after Ursabia was walked. A barrage of single RBI’s by Lamata, Riflayca Basa, and Krisna Paguican gave Adamson the lead. Then a double RBI single by Clariz Palma extended the rally to five runs. A fielding error and another double RBI single by Adorable led to three more runs. Macapagal was subbed out for 3rd year player Shaira Damasing. Damasing could not secure the 3rd out for the Lady Bulldogs but instead gave up two more runs. The NU staff then relieved Damasing of her pitching duties and plugged in rookie Rina Vailoces. Vailoces gave up three hits and three more runs before ending the inning with a flyball putout at center field. The inning ended with Adamson up 13-2 over NU. On a side note, the Lady Falcons game-breaking 13 runs in a single inning is the 2nd highest run total for Coach Santiago’s squad behind a 15-run inning accomplished two years ago.
Nietes tried to spark an NU rally to open the bottom half of the 4th inning. She hit a double to start the 4th and a sacrifice fly by Charislyn Tulalian gave NU a run. However, the Adamson field locked down on the Lady Bulldogs as they were able to putout three consecutive NU batters to close out another mercy rule win.
In a quick interview with Coach Santiago, she told us that the break her squad needed came after the error committed by NU 3rd baseman Nietes. “Nakaswerte kami sa error ni Nietes, yun yung moment that nag lead sa mga runs after.”
Adamson pitcher Benjamin gave up three runs in the game, including a homerun in the 1st inning, but was able to strikeout five NU batters in the three innings she pitched. On offense, Lamata and Paguican led the team with two runs. Palma and Adorable supplemented the offense with 2 RBI’s each.
The still undefeated AdU Lady Falcons will look for win number 53 against a formidable UE Lady Warriors squad on Wednesday, February 11 at 11am while the slumping NU Lady Bulldogs face the 2-1 UST Softbelles at 1pm. Both games will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.