The National University Lady Bulldogs just secured a top two seed at the very least in the UAAP Season 78 Softball playoffs.
After another heartbreaking loss against the Adamson Lady Falcons, the Lady Bulldogs bounced back big time in a 12-2 abbreviated fifth inning win over the University of the East Lady Warriors to secure their spot in the playoffs Monday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
“Pinag-handaan din talaga nila itong pitcher ng UE kasi last time tinalo sila nito [last season],” National University head coach Egay delos Reyes said about how his team prepared against UE pitcher Lovely Joy Redaja. “So meron pa rin silang personal goal sa game na ito aside sa pagiging number two.”
The Lady Bulldogs offense completely obliterated the UE defense in the first two innings of the game. National U connected on nine hits during that frame that led to six runs. Third basewoman Dyan Arago instigated the NU rally with two hits, both singles, that led to two runs. Designated player Mia Macapagal, still recovering from an injury, connected on two hits as well that led to two runs and two RBI’s during that frame.
On the other end, super rookie Mary Joy Ramos displayed veteran-like instincts in leading the Lady Bulldog defense. After giving up two hits in the opening frame, that led to a run for Josephine Francisco, Ramos and the infield of National U only allowed three hits in the third and fourth inning that led to just one run and two runners left on base.
“Grabe pinukol niya parang hindi rookie,” delos Reyes said about the Zambales-native. “Parang may preview na tayo on what’s in store for the future.”
After a quiet third inning, the Lady Bulldogs continued to pound their opponents in the final two innings of the game. The Jhocscon Street lady batters connected on an efficient six hits during that span that led to six runs. The rally was a highlighted by a huge two-out double by Charles Tulalian that led to runs for Aimee Watson and Colleen Alilin during the top of the fifth inning. The game had to be stopped after the fifth inning due to an imposing 12-2 lead for National University.
Playing in their final elimination round game, Delos Reyes has already planned scrimmages and tune-up games for his squad to better prepare them for the playoffs. “Continues pa rin yung practice and we are going to schedule a tune-up game kasi hindi puwedeng matigil e,” he said. “Winning by this much, baka mag-relax kami. I’ll try to set-up some scrimmages and inter-squad para ma-maintain namin yung momentum.”
The troika of Arago, Alilin, and Watson all were 2 of 3 at bat during the game. All three combined for half of the team’s runs while Alilin and Watson had an RBI each. Charles Tulalian, who was 2 of 4 for the day, had three RBI’s as well.
The Lady Bulldogs finished the elimination round with an 8-4 slate. On the other hand, the UE Lady Warriors play a do-or-die game against the DLSU Lady Batters on Wednesday, March 1.
If UST upsets the Adamson Lady Falcons, the NU Lady Bulldogs will square off against the UST Tiger Softbelles in a virtual best-of-three series that will start on Saturday, March 5.
A UST loss though would give the Lady Bulldogs a twice-to-beat advantage in the second stage of the stepladder.
If UE defeats DLSU and UP losses against Ateneo, all three team’s will face-off in tiebreaker matches based on their quotients. The bottom two teams will face off first with the winner facing the team with the highest quotient for the top seed.
A UE loss or a UP win eliminates them from the tournament.
|NU (2nd, 8-4)||3||3||3||3||X||X||12||15|
|UE (6th, 3-8)||1||1||X||X||2||2||2|