The struggle is real for the five-time UAAP Softball champions.
In an uncharacteristic outing for the Adamson University Lady Falcons, the defending champions struggled at the bat in a 4-0 win against the De La Salle University Lady Batters Tuesday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Malate.
The high-powered Adamson batting order had a tough time against sophomore Jamica Arribas in the first three innings of the game. Even in connecting on two hits in the three innings, including a double during the second inning, Arribas was able to strikeout two batters to close out the innings to strand the batters.
During the fourth inning, first batter Annalie Benjamen was able to connect with a double to center right field to put the MVP in scoring position. However, the next two batters, Angeli Ursabia and Gelyn Lamata, were tagged out to give La Salle two outs. Needing to put one up on the board, rookie Clarrise Lozada was able to squeeze in a double to center left field to bring home her captain and put her team on the scoreboard.
“Medyo nahirapan kami kasi hindi kami naka-adjust kagad kay (Jamica) Arribas. Pero at the same time ang ganda talaga ng pinukol ng pitcher nila. Tapos of din hitting namin,” Adamson head coach Ana Santiago said about their offensive struggles. “Yung mga third to fifth batter, yung mga heavy hitter namin na-off e. Naging iba and diskarte namin, mag drag-bunt at iba pa, dun kami nakabawi.”
On the other side, the Lady Batters from Taft Avenue almost had a chance to score a run in the third inning. 17 year old rookie Veronica Velasco gained base after four balls. A sacrifice fly by Judie Ramos and a fielder’s choice moved her to third base. However, with two outs, a grounder to center field by lead-off batter Mary Joy Son was caught by shortstop Queeny Sabobo and was able to make a timely throw to catcher Ursabia to tag out Velasco and keep the Lady Batters scoreless.
Jamica Arribas continued her clutch pitching in the fifth inning to keep close with the champions. With two outs, Sabobo and Lorna Adorable were able to gain the corners with Benjamen on deck. The La Salle sophomore, even in experiencing the nerves, calmly struck out Benjamen to strand two more runners.
However, the inevitable occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning. First batter Lamata connected with a base hit to right at the first pitch. After a walk of Lamata, third batter Rieza Calumbres knocked a single to an exposed center-left field that paved the way for a Lamata run. The bases were then loaded soon after with last season’s home run queen, Queeny Sabobo, at bat. The Adamson senior popped a single that brought in two more runners to give Adamson a 4-0 lead.
Fortunately for the Lady Falcons, the fielding of the Lady Falcons tagged out Chinny Ejar and Pat Belarmino for the first two outs of the final inning. Benjamen then struckout Vanessa Borbon after a full count to secure their 65th straight win.
“Dami kong left on base ngayon kasi off na off talaga hitting namin,” Santiago shared after the game. “Keep moving lang sabi ko sa kanila. Magkakaroon din ng timing yang palo natin.”
Santiago though is hoping that even with the win, she is hoping that her team learns from the past two games they’ve experienced. “Sabi ko nga sa kanila kanina is hindi ko sinasabi na maganda yung nangyayari sa atin. Ang ibig ko sabihin ay importante dito ay regardless of the score panalo tayo,” she shared to Tiebreaker Times. “Pero ang susunod na dapat isipin namin ay kelangan may natutunan tayo sa mga nangyayari sa atin.”
“Hopefully, in the next game makabawi kami.”
Queeny Sabobo was 2 of 4 in the game. She was the anchor to the Adamson offense as her two singles in the game was able to bring home two runners. Fellow team captain Benjamen only gave up three hits, all singles, in the game and was able to strikeout ten batters that kept La Salle at bay for the game.
The Adamson Lady Falcons will have the UE Lady Warriors (2-2) next on their schedule while the DLSU Lady Batters face the UP Lady Maroons (2-2) later in the day. Both games will be played on Wednesday, February 10 still at the historic Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.