After elder sister and De La Salle University captain Jamica Arribas made sure her side clinched the twice-to-beat advantage, younger sister and National University rookie Christy took one for her own team.
The Lady Bulldog plucked a single in the crucial sixth inning, which is enough to secure their place in the Final Four, to stop the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 4-2, Thursday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
With confidence gained from their final elimination round win against the same team, the Bustillos-based side produced two hits as early as the first at-bats with Elsie Dela Torre and Leila Tarroza.
These hits eventually turned into runs as Dela Torre and Pearly Lorca capitalized on an error of UP shortstop Panjie Legaspi to put the Lady Bulldogs on top, 2-0.
The Fighting Maroons then used National U’s own mistakes to level the game at two. With Nitchie Rabe on the plate, Ritchie Dabbay failed on her own attempt for a put out as captain Cai De Luna and Erika Olfato crossed the plate.
However, Dela Torre and Tarroza flexed their muscles once more in the sixth inning as a triple from the former started it off for National U. Tarroza then gave her side back the lead at 3-2 after scoring Dela Torre, setting up Arribas for the insurance run-scoring single.
Cochise Diolata and the UP defense did well to retire the side, but Mary Ann Ramos made amends in their turn at defense to ultimately seal the win.
Tarroza ended with two hits in three at-bats, but none bigger than the triple that scored Dela Torre in the sixth. Dela Torre not just plucked two hits in the same number of at-bats, but was also able to hold UP scoreless in 3 2/3 innings at the circle.
For NU head coach Sid Abello, he hopes that the Lady Bulldogs will just play well and not get intimidated by the Adamson University Lady Falcons.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, laro lang tayo. Huwag nating iisipin na Adamson sila. Huwag nating papansinin yung mga sigaw nila; basta laro lang tayo,” he shared.
He added, “Bibigyan namin sila ng magandang laban. Matalo man kami pero pagpapawisan muna sila.”
The semifinals against National U and Adamson, with the latter having the twice-to-beat advantage is set on Saturday, March 23 at 9 a.m.
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