ADAMSON University earned a 7-3 victory over University of the Philippines in a UAAP Season 85 softball finals preview, Saturday at UP Diliman Baseball Field.
The Lady Falcons, the nine-time defending champions, secured the No. 1 ranking and will be the home team (batting last) in the best-of-three series opener on Tuesday.
For decorated Adamson head coach Ana Santiago, the Lady Falcons needed this win for their confidence as the Fighting Maroons were the only team that defeated them in the elimination round.
“Sabi ko sa mga bata last night, Huwag nila itong i-treat as a no bearing game. I-treat nila ito para ma-boost ang aming morale. Buhos kami sa game na ito. This game is important because it is like a championship game for us,” she said, recalling the 2-3, 11-inning loss they absorbed last February 25.
“Dumating kami dito, ang goal namin is manalo kasi malaki siyang tulong sa pagpasok sa Game One,” the Philippine Blu Girls assistant coach continued.
Behind two runs entering the bottom of the third inning, Adamson answered right back with a two-hit, three-run rally sparked by an MJ Maguad double.
Though UP got a run back in the next inning, the Lady Falcons punched in three more runs with Alaiza Talisik, Aliza Pichon, and Angelu Gabriel providing the firepower.
“Tumama mga batters namin. Si Glory (Alonzo) nung first game namin versus UP, we gave up three runs in 11 innings. Same din kay Ezra (Jalandoni) but in seven innings. Ang difference is tumama ang mga palo namin today,” said Santiago.
In just her third start for the season, Jalandoni allowed five hits and three runs while striking out two UP batters.
“Buti na lang maganda ang pinukol ni Ezra. Ang maganda ngayon is I have two pitchers na puwede i-prepare for the Finals,” said Santiago about Jalandoni.
By the fifth inning, UP head coach Ron Pagkaliwagan replaced his starters to prepare for the big game on Tuesday.
“Dito talaga everybody’s ball game. Hindi mo alam sino magcha-champion e. Alam namin na hindi ito magiging madali compared sa past namin pero pagtratrabahuan namin ito,” Santiago said.
Earlier, University of Santo Tomas needed the seventh-inning heroics of Lyca Blanco before putting on an extra-inning storm to escape upset-seeking Ateneo de Manila University, 4-2.
This was the perfect send-off for graduating Tiger Softbelles Dionlyn Bulay, Christine Bautista, Kyle Lumilang, Aleona Langga, and Lyca Blanco, as the España-based side secured third place.
The Blue Eagles will end their campaign in fourth place despite holding the same 1-7 record as De La Salle University by virtue of lower runs allowed in their heads-up matches, 10-13.
Graduating for Ateneo are Sophia Carsi Cruz, Germaine Guinto, Sophia Santos, and Martina Nacion.
Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
UST 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 4 5 1
ADMU 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 2
Game 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
UP 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 6 4
ADU 0 0 3 3 0 1 – 7 7 1