National University’s rookie pitcher Mary Ann Ramos played the game of her life in allowing just a single hit while fellow rookie Aimee Watson provided the offensive spark in the Lady Bulldogs’ 2-1 win over the Lady Maroons Wednesday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
It was a struggle for both sides to bring in runners on base for the entire game as the fielding of both sides worked their way to a low-scoring affair. Errors though proved to be the difference that led to the runs scored by both sides.
Leader in the rookie of the year race, clean-up hitter Aimee Watson led the Lady Bulldogs to punch in their first run of the game. The Laguna-native grounded a Diolata pitch to right field for a double to start the bottom end of the second inning. With Mia Macapagal at bat, a throwing error by first basewoman Swing dela Cruz to try to pick-off Watson led to the rookie stealing home base to give NU a 1-0 lead.
Another throwing error led to another run for the Lady Bulldogs in the fourth inning. After a groundout of first batter Colleen Alilin, Watson once again connected with a grounder. However, in what would have been an easy out at first base, the returning MJ Abanes overthrew the ball to first base that led to Watson gaining second base. Team captain Macapagal then brought home her rookie after an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.
On the other end, Zambales-native Ramos held her own on the mound in keeping the Lady Maroons scoreless in the first five innings of the game. Ramos only allowed one hit during that span, a two-out single by Jhenn Alinsod during the top of the third inning. Moreover, she was able to strikeout six batters during that frame.
In the sixth inning, the Lady Maroons tried to rally back to get into the game. Third year batter Ella Martinez was walked by Ramos to start the game while a groundout of next batter Alinsod gave the junior second base. A pop-up fly by lead-off batter Angela Penales led to a failed fielders choice attempt by the Lady Bulldogs that gave Martinez a run. However, a groundout at first base of Abanes and Ramos’ seventh strikeout of the game left Penales stranded at home base to retain the lead.
The Lady Bulldogs tried to gain the run back in the bottom end of the inning. A double by Shaira Damasing opened play for the Jhocson Street lady batters. The Lady Maroons then played third base to stop the top of the NU batting order from gaining prime real estate to score with UP shortstop Alinsod doing the eliminations. A fielders choice attempt with Dyan Arago at bat knocked off Damasing at third base. Arago was then ousted by Alinsod to give UP two outs. After a walk of Alilin, Watson popped a fly to left field exactly at Alinsod to give UP a chance for a seventh inning rally.
It was not meant to be however as all of the fly balls of the Lady Maroons landed exactly where the Lady Bulldogs wanted it to be. Aftr Juliet Omul was grounded out, back to back flyouts of Jazreel Movido and Kier Ferrer closed the game out.
“Talagang off talaga. Kita mo yung mga solid hits namin tumatap talaga,” NU head coach Edgar delos Reyes said about the surprising mercy rule loss against UST. “Pagkatapos namin mag-usap, sabi ko sa players, talagang nangyayari yan kahit sa MLB. Ang magandang gawin is to win our next game and take it as a challenge.”
Looking forward to their last remaining games, Delos Reyes hopes to fix the offensive problems the team has been facing in the second round. “We need to work on our base running and adjustments on hitting. Medyo gigil e. We’re changing our approach on the bat in practice,” he closed.
Aimee Watson was one of three at bat to continue her stunning UAAP Season 78 campaign. She connected on a double for the game while scoring both of NU’s runs.
On the other hand, sophomore Cochise Diolata allowed four hits in the game. In the six innings she pitched, she had five strikeouts but walked two batters. She gave up two singles and two doubles.
The Lady Bulldogs face the league-leading Adamson Lady Falcons on Saturday, February 27 in the main game of the day at 1:00pm. Earlier for the day, the UP Lady Maroons look to fix their woes in facing the DLSU Lady Batters to open the day.
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