Arianne Vallestero could have easily let go of her collegiate career three years ago.
Though the NU Lady Bulldogs had already fielded the third baseman for four years – with her playing in three – she was already a mainstay with the RP Blu Girls.
But she felt that something was missing. She wanted to end her collegiate career on a high note.
“Wala naman pinagkaiba. Iisang laro lang naman ito,” the 23-year-old said about playing with the Lady Falcons.
“Softball pa rin ito.”
Helping her in her transition was decorated head coach Ana Santiago, who is also an assistant coach with the Philippine Women’s National Softball Team.
“Si Ate Ana kasi kaibigan mo siya, nanay mo siya, teacher mo siya. Kaibigan talaga siya.”
And with Santiago telling her to just let loose, she decided to simply play her game.
Vallestero ended up with six individual awards this season, winning Best Hitter (.556 avg); Best Slugger (.972); Most RBIs (16); Most Homeruns (3 – tied with UST’s Charlotte Sales, Rookie of the Year); Most Stolen Bases (6 – tied with Adamson’s Angelu Gabriel); and the biggest prize of them all – Regular Season Most Valuable Player.
“Sobrang saya kasi first time ko lang nakatikim ng championship,” she gushed.
“No regrets siyempre.”
After seven years, Vallestero, as decorated as she is, can finally say that she is a champion.