Once again, the defending UAAP Softball Champions are in the Finals. But it was not a walk in the park for the Adamson University Lady Falcons, as they were dragged into the deep waters by the senior-laden National University Lady Falcons before taking a 2-1 win, Thursday morning at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
“Sa totoo lang, ito yung game na ninyerbos ako,” admitted decorated Adamson head coach Ana Santiago. “Nung huli, nung na hohold nila yung NU, dun ko nakita na lalaban sila hanggang dulo.
“Nakaka-touch kasi this is for them, not for me. Yung naging resulta, it’s them, not the coaching staff. Mas gusto nilang manalo,” she asserted.
The game itself was a pitching battle between Adamson’s Lyca Basa, who gave up just two hits, and NU’s Mia Macapagal. Both pitchers willed their team throughout the contest, with no one budging.
“We need to give credit to Mia. Binuhos talaga niya yung lahat but unfortunately, sa breaks of the game kami nawala,” NU head coach Egay delos Reyes remarked about his graduating pitcher, who surrendered just three hits in the contest.
However, with the game knotted at 1-1, the Lady Bulldogs’ outfield caved in during the bottom of the seventh inning.
Jenette Rusia, the leading home run hitter in the league, connected with a linedrive to center field. The ball was catchable, but center fielder Nicole Ordoyo dropped it.
“Sayang yung pagkakataon e. Yun ulit nangyari, yung simple mistake sa outfield cost us the game. Hindi ko alam yung nangyari dun, ang makakasagot lang dun yung player,” rued delos Reyes.
Rusia was replaced by pinch runner Ivy Capistrano, while Flor Pabiana was intentionally walked with one out. Designated hitter Gelyn Lamata then connected directly to shortstop Elsie Dela Torre, who failed to grab the grounder. Capistrano took advantage of this, punching in the winning run.
“Kay Lamata, yung pre-game talk ko sa kanya, sabi ko sa kanya, kahit wala kang pinapalo the past few games pero malay mo ngayon yung time mo to shine. She delivered. I’m proud of them. Yun lang pero ito ata yung game na kinabahan ako,” shared Santiago.
“Sila ang nagtrabaho para rito,” she added.
Adamson will await the winner of the UST Tiger Softbelles-UE Lady Warriors bracket. The best-of-three Finals begins on Tuesday, March 6.
On the other hand, Macapagal, third basewoman Ghene Nietes, DP Shaira Damasing, first basewoman Kristine Acuna, second basewoman Kristine Paclar, and Shiela Pino played their last game for the Lady Bulldogs.
“They should be proud of themselves. Nag-all out sila sa final game nila. Kung ano yung natutunan nila dito, magagamit nila yun sa post-collegiate career nila. Yung disiplina at dedication, ma-apply nila yun sa trabaho nila,” beamed Delos Reyes of his seniors.
“Magkakaroon kami ng rebuilding. Ang forecast ko, we will need 10 to 12 new players. We’ll see sa recruitment namin sa Palarong Pambansa,” the third-year NU head coach added about the future of his program.