Figuring in another slow start, the Adamson University Lady Falcons looked to leading slugger Jenette Rusia to provide the spark. Rusia knocked off her third home run of the year in the game-turning fourth inning, powering the defending champions to a 14-4 triumph over the University of the East Lady Warriors, Thursday morning at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Lady Falcons have swept the first round with an immaculate 6-0 record, while UE dropped to an even 3-3 slate.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, mabuti na lang nasa side pa rin natin yung araw,” said Adamson head coach Ana Santiago. “Kahit hirap tayo, nakaka-survive pa rin tayo. Ngayon, kailangan pa rin namin mag-improve for the next round. Kahit hindi biglaan, may improvements pa rin dapat.”
However, a slow start haunted the Lady Falcons during the first three innings of the game. Adamson committed an uncharacteristic five errors during that span that led to four UE runs, while on the offensive end, they left six runners stranded.
“Talagang hindi maganda. We had so many errors and runners on base kaya nagalit ako sa kanila,” rued Santiago as her team was down 4-2 entering the fourth inning. “Ang maganda dito e yung pinakita nila composure nila.”
A single by Flor Pabiana brought home Edna Severino to cut the lead down to just one in the fourth inning. Then, with two runners on base but with two outs, Rusia took to the plate. With no hesitation, the native of Bacolod slammed an over-the-fence home run to punch in three runs. This was her third home run of the season.
“Two years ko siyang di pinalaro. Nung ni-line up ko siya, chinallenge ko siya na hindi lang puwede na nasa likod lang siya. At ngayon, pinapakita naman niya na deserve niya masama dito sa UAAP,” Santiago remarked about the leader in home runs.
It clearly broke the morale of the Lady Warriors, as Pabiana and the rest of the Lady Falcons dominated the rest of the way capped with a whopping six-run seventh inning.
Pabiana had four RBIs in the game, while Gelyn Lamata had two. Princess Jurado made the start for Adamson on the mound before winning pitcher Lyka Basa closed the game out.
“Maganda yung pinukol nung starting pitcher ko. Naka-hold siya ng three innings pero yung kasamahan niya lang nagcommit ng errors,” Santiago said about Jurado.
Kathlene Soliven had two RBIs to pace the Lady Warriors.