After being the hero of UST during their last outing against the NU Lady Bulldogs, Bianca Hernandez continued to be the support Ann Antolihao needed on offense as the Tiger Softbelles escaped with a 1-0 win over the De La Salle University Lady Batters, Saturday afternoon.
“Wala akong masasabi,” quipped UST head coach Sandy Barredo. “Actually, may tiwala ako kay Bianca. May one-time hit yan e. Yung first at-bat niya tapat kaya sabi ko sa kanya adjust lang.”
With both teams going run-less until the bottom of the seventh inning, Hernandez, who had two RBIs against NU, connected on a double to center field to give life to the struggling UST offense. Lea Guevarra followed it up with a single of her own while Jessie Belano loaded up the bases for UST. With Hernandez being subbed out for pinch runner Angel Tonquin and Lyra Gustilo being replaced by pinch hitter Ricky Latican, Latican connected on a single to right field that paved the way for the game-winner.
“Sabi ko kanya, mag-slide. It’s either safe siya or two outs, ayun sinwerte. Kaya lang, hindi pala marunong mag-slide,” Barredo said about Tonquin.
La Salle had a chance to stun last season’s runners-up during the sixth inning.
Last batter Arisa Miranda connected on a single to open the inning while an error at third base and a single by Mercy Arroyo loaded things up for La Salle with no outs. Jamica Arribas went for a sac fly to right fielder Gustilo. As Miranda ran towards home plate, Gustilo made a beautiful throw to catcher Celestine Palma who was able to block the runner for the double play.
Ann Antolihao had nine strikeouts and allowed just four hits in the contest. But Barredo wants the UST batters to step up, knowing that the team needs them when they take on the Adamson Lady Falcons on Monday, February 26.
“Si Ann peak na. Problema lang yung katulong. Sila Roa at Palma at yung ibang hitters namin di pa rin makapalo. Sana maka-connect sila against Adamson. Pag nangyari yun, tapos ang laban,” Barredo shared.
The Tiger Softbelles stayed at second with a 7-2 record while dropping the Lady Batters to a tie with the UP Lady Maroons
La Salle will next face the NU Lady Bulldogs on the same day.