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With the UP Lady Maroons down 3-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, the NU Lady Bulldogs committed five costly errors to give the Lady Maroons a 4-3 win last Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
In a match-up between rookie pitcher, Cochise Diolata, and sophomore, Mia Macapagal, it was Diolata who almost gave up the first run at the first inning of the game. At the top of the first, NU’s lead off batter, Shaira Damasing, was walked due to balls. Damasing was able to gain second after a sacrifice grounder by Dyan Arago. Then after a fly ball by Ghene Nietes that was caught by UP shortstop Lily Gonzales, Damasing was putout at third base due to a fielder’s choice to end the top half of the inning.
The NU Lady Bulldogs slowly built a 3-0 lead in the next three innings. It was third year Lady Bulldog, Baby Gequillo, who popped a solo home run at the top of the second inning to put NU up 1-0, that started the lead. Moreover, a triple by Ghene Nietes at the top of the third paved the way for a run by Dyan Arago.
The NU run was capped off at the fourth inning. With one out, a throwing error by rookie Mary Joy Abanes gave Mia Macapagal first base. Macapagal was able to steal second base there after. Then with two outs, Colleen Alilin popped a single to left field to give Macapagal a run and give NU a 3-0 lead.
The NU defense gave up just a single hit in the first four innings of the game. Within that inning, Macapagal was able to strikeout two UP batters. However, come the fifth inning, the UP offense picked up. A fielding error by NU 3rd basewoman, Ghene Nietes, gave Dennise Cruz first base. A sacrifice hit by Isabella Mendoza moved Cruz to second base, and a succeeding RBI by Lily Gonzales placed UP on the scoreboard. With two outs, Mary Joy Abanes was hit by a pitch to give her first base. Another fielding error by NU with Danielle Cruz batting gave UP two bases. Then, an RBI single by Gabin Paz gave Abanes a run to cut the NU lead to a solitary run.
With UP down one at the start of the sixth inning, pinch hitter, Jhenn Alinsod, hit a single, while a catching error by the NU first base gave Louise Bongat 1st base. Furthermore, an error by NU center fielder, Shaira Damasing, gave Alinsod a run to tie the game. Another fielding error by NU, this time by second basewoman, Carla Payapaya, gave the Lady Maroons the lead courtesy of a Bongat run. UP held a slim 4-3 lead before entering the final regulation inning of the game.
The UP defense was clutch in the seventh inning. A fly ball by Carla Payapaya was caught at second base for first out. NU’s Shaira Damasing hit a single after. However, the UP defense did not let up as UP pitcher, Cochise Diolata, then struckout Dyan Arago for second out. With one away, Ghene Nietes popped a single, but it was caught by Dennise Cruz, then passed to shortstop, Lily Gonzales, who was able to tag Nietes for third out.
With the win UP grabbed solo third place in the standings with two more games to go.
Cochise Diolata and rookie Mary Joy Abanes had both scored runs and hit 1Bs to lead the UP offense. Gabin Paz and Isabella Mendoza recorded an RBI each as well.
The UP Lady Maroons next play the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Wednesday, February 25 at 11am while the NU Lady Bulldogs will go against the ADMU Lady Batters at 1pm. Both games will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.