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Tiebreaker Times


Tiger Softbelles continue to struggle as Lady Bulldogs take solo second

The Lady Bulldogs are starting to form a habit of figuring into cardiac games


UST (3-2)21
NU (4-1)21141

The softbelles of National University escaped the highly-touted University of Santo Tomas Tiger Softbelles in an extra inning game, 1-0, to break their tie, Thursday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium in the city of Manila.

The win lifts the Lady Bulldogs’ standing to 4-1 while the Tiger Softbelles crash to third, 3-2, after losing their second straight heartbreaker.

“Sabi ko nga, I’m getting used to these kinds of games. Maganda ito para pampatibay ng loob,” second-year NU head coach Egay delos Reyes said about their third extra inning game of the season.

And after struggling with the pitches of UST ace Ann Antolihao (2-2) for the first six innings of the game, the Lady Bulldogs were able to get a run in the most crucial of moments when it mattered.

With one out and sophomore Aimee Watson at third base, Mia Macapagal was grounded out at first base for second out. However, amid the confusion, UST’s first basewoman forgot that a play at home was still running as Watson went off to the races, beating the throw to secure NU’s win.

“I admire them. They really wanted to win,” delos Reyes reflected about the play.

However, an extra inning could have been avoided in the eyes of the NU mentor in what he deemed was a missed call during the seventh inning of the game. With the bases loaded and two outs, Leila Taroza connected on a base hit that would have brought home Clarifer Singh. Watson though was grounded out at second base by the game official in what turned out to be a hotly contested play.

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“Honestly, I’m disappointed kasi kitang-kita na safe. Ang question ko is sana nasa tamang puwesto yung umpire. The way he called that out, he was behind the second base. Yung runner namin dapat inanggulohan niya. Winning run na sana yun,” the NU mentor said.

But fortunately for him, his players continued to push forward despite what happened. “Sabi ko, ‘huwag sila magpa-epekto.’ Trabaho naming mga coaches yun and yung trabaho nila is to play lang,” he added.

For the second straight game though, the Tiger Softbelles, the consensus favorites to win the championship this season, have failed to register even a single run in their last two games. Starting pitcher Mary Ann Ramos (2-1) did not allow any hits in four innings while closer Mia Macapagal was only connected on twice.

And the switch of roles was the major adjustment Delos Reyes learned after suffering their first defeat of the season against Adamson.

“Nakita namin si Mary Ann Ramos na siya yung tinatamaan as reliever. We made her our starter tapos si Mia naman naging closer namin. It’s the adjustment we made against Ateneo and I hope it continues to keep working,” he shared.

NU will face the UP Lady Maroons in their final assignment of the first round on Saturday, February 18 at 11:30 am. On the other hand, UST looks to end its skid on the same day as they face the UE Lady Warriors at 9:30am.

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