On the verge of an upset, the RP Blu Girls instead suffered a heartbreak, falling to China, 3-8, in the 2019 WBSC Softball Asia/Oceania Qualifier, Wednesday afternoon at the Shanghai Sports Training Center in China.
“The game was definitely for our taking, but in the end, we have to blame ourselves for this defeat. It was close yet so far,” lamented head coach Randy Dizer.
With the Philippines up 3-2 with one out, and the bases loaded in the sixth inning, third baseman Lu Ying slammed a huge homer to center field to put China up for good.
A sac fly by Chan Jia scored Li Huan in the seventh inning for the insurance run.
With the loss, the Philippines need to defeat New Zealand on Thursday at 12:30 pm to be one of the two teams in Group A to advance to the Super Round in this tournament that has one Olympic spot at stake.
“We have an uphill task, but we intend to make the Super rounds and see what happens,” Dizer said.
The Philippines had a strong first inning as Sky Ellazar popped a triple to bring home Chelsea Suitos and Angelie Ursabia. A sac fly by Arianne Vallestero paved the way for an Ellazar run to give the Blu Girls a 3-0 lead early.
Ellazar went 1-of-3 at-bat.
China chipped into the lead that led to Lu’s heroics.
Ezra Jalandoni pitched for the Philippines, giving up five hits and four runs while fanning two batters in five innings pitched. Sierra Lange and Logan Caymol played relief for her.
“We started off pitching excellent through Ezra Jalandoni, but in the later stages she was tiring and I should have brought in Sierras Lange earlier,” Dizer lamented.