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State U open campaign with 4th inn stoppage win over Ateneo



Coming from a successful UAAP Season 78 campaign, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons made a statement in the opening day of UAAP softball action.

The UP Lady Maroons blasted the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles 11-0 in an abbreviated fourth inning win Saturday morning at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Ateneo pitcher Nikki Borromeo and the Ateneo defense only gave up a single hit at the top of the opening inning, leading to no runs. On the other end, one of last season’s top rookies Cochise Diolata struckout the Ateneo’s Cheska Imperial and Ira Nevalga that left Borromeo in second base to close out the first inning.

The floodgates opened for the Lady Maroons at the top of the second inning. The defense of the Lady Eagles completely collapsed after a throwing error by Yla Trindad that led to Swing dela Cruz gaining first base. Consecutive singles by MJ Abanes and Maki Cabriana loaded the bases. Borromeo then walked Jen Alinsod, paving the way for a Trinidad run, the first run scored in UAAP Season 78.

Another fielding error by Ateneo led to the second run for UP. UP slugger and team captain Gabin Paz popped the ball off to right field to bring in two more runs for the Diliman softbelles. Cleanup batter DC Cruz then knocked a triple to center field to send Penales and Paz back home and put their team up 6-0. A fielding error by Ateneo short stop Gina Nevalga after an Omul bat then led to another run.

After finally gaining their first out of the inning, a flyout to centerfield by Chantal Bongat, Borromeo was subbed out for rookie pitcher Clariele Dacanay. UP brought in another run UP before the last two UP batters for the inning, Dela Cruz and Abanes, were flied and grounded out respectively.

The Lady Eagles offense never had a chance against the excellent pitching of Diolata in the next three innings. The UP sophomore was able to strike out four Katipunan softbelles during that span. Moreover, the defense of the Lady Maroons was in-sync both in the infield and the outfield as only one Lady Eagle, lead-off batter and team captain Angela Natividad during the bottom of the third inning, reached third base during that span.

At the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Maroons were able to bring in three more runs to put them wide-ahead, 11-0. Cruz, Omul, and Bongat scored the runs needed to lead the way for an abbreviated fourth inning victory for the Lady Maroons.

UP team captain and birthday girl Gabin Paz is proud of the way her team performed in this game especially the team’s sophomores. “Given na may mga nabawasan sa team, they’re good na replacements na talaga,” Paz shared. “I know that we’re a young team but we practiced so hard for this.”

Pitcher Cochise Diolata had an excellent outing as well with six strikeouts in the game, only giving up a single hit. “Diolata is now a sophomore and, compared to last year, she really improved,” UP’s team captain added. “Her targets better and she has more variety with her pitches. She’s also being a leader on the field given na wala na si Ate Seiko (Hashimoto) and Danielle (Cruz).”

On the offensive end, UP senior DC Cruz had an excellent outing with two hits, both singles, and scoring two runs in two at bats. Rookie Juliet Omul added two more hits, a single and a double, and two runs in two at bats as well.

For the Lady Eagles, Natividad was the only batter who made a successful bat with a single.

The Lady Maroons next face the Adamson Lady Falcons on Wednesday, February 3 in the rematch of the UAAP Season 77 Finals. “We really want to show them (Adamson) in this game na we are a team to look out for,” Paz closed. “I know that we are capable talaga and they have a chance of beating us and we have a chance of beating them.”

On the other hand, the Ateneo Lady Eagles face the National University Lady Bulldogs on Monday, February 1 at 11:00am.







UP (1-0)





ADMU (0-1)