It took 335 days before last season’s bronze medalists, National University Lady Bulldogs, could return to the historic Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. And once they got back to the diamond, they immediately vented their frustrations on tournament hosts De La Salle University Lady Batters in an abbreviated sixth inning win, 7-2, Saturday afternoon.
“Siguro yung frustration namin from last season, when we started strong tapos nagkaproblema and nag-collapse in the middle round, yun yung motivation ko sa kanila,” second year National University head coach Egay delos Reyes said. “Paulit-ulit ko sinasabi sa kanila na ayaw ko maulit yun.”
“Our senior players also want to prove something. Gusto na daw nilang mag-champion.”
Leading the Lady Bulldogs downpour was senior Dyan Arago. The NU shortstop went an efficient 2-of-3 in the game, hitting an RBI triple early on and followed it up with a three run homer in the Lady Bulldogs’ fifth inning blitz.
With the Lady Bulldogs on the verge of giving up a 4-0 lead as Roselle dela Rosa and Jen Gomez punched in runs during the third and fourth innings respectively, sophomore Mary Ann Ramos popped a triple to wake up NU’s batting order. Seniors Charleslyn Tulalian and Colleen Alilin quickly followed suit, the former bringing home Ramos.
Arago then punctuated the game-breaking fifth inning surge with the season’s first home run that punched in three runs.
Lead-off batter, sophomore Aimee Watson put the icing on the cake with a home run of her own at the top of the sixth inning.
The comprehensive win was also complemented by the excellent outing of NU’s bullpen. Fourth-year pitcher Mia Macapagal (1-0) gave up just three hits in 3 1/3 innings pitched while Ramos closed out the game fanning four batters and giving up just one hit.
“I’m good na naka-recover sila from injuries nila last year. Yun yung tinrabaho namin nung off-season. May bago rin kaming pitching coach in Marlon Maloy. He did a good job in the off-season,” Delos Reyes shared.
On the other hand, third year La Salle pitcher Jamica Arribas (0-1) struggled in her season debut, giving up nine hits that led to five runs. However, she was also La Salle’s most efficient batter, going 2-of-3 (both singles).
NU will immediately be put to the test on Monday, February 6 when they face defending six-time champions, Adamson Lady Falcons at 9:00am.
“No special plans [against Adamson]. Just play our game. Let our pitchers do their job and let batters hit. Everything will fall into its right place,” delos Reyes said about the match-up.
La Salle, on the other hand, takes on the UE Lady Warriors in the last game of the day at 1:00pm.
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