Last February 15, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons were able to literally squeak past the National University Lady Bulldogs in a nine-inning thriller, 3-2. Two days later, the Lady Bulldogs were able to get one back as a Nicole Ordoyo walk-off lifted her team to a 6-5 ninth-inning win, Saturday afternoon.
Having just less than 48 hours to prepare for their rematch, NU head coach Egay delos Reyes made adjustments on the fly, including changing the batting order of his team to combat UP.
“Nag-adjust kami sa batting order. Si [Kristine] Acuna nilagay namin dun. Si Ordoyo naman nilagay ko sa taas,” disclosed Delos Reyes as Acuna punched in the tying run during the eighth inning that sent the game into another extra inning.
After Elsie dela Torre was able to hold off UP on the top of the ninth, it was up to the NU offense to deliver.
With Ordoyo being NU’s designated runner at second base, UP head coach Ron Pagkaliwagan decided to play the cards dealt to him. He decided to intentionally walk Shaira Damasing and Mary Ann Ramos to load up the bases.
However, Cochise Diolata, who had pitched 18 innings over the last 48 hours, had three balls against Leila Tarroza. Tarroza faked a bunt on the fourth pitch but Diolata’s pitch was too low for fourth ball and Ordoyo’s winning run.
“Expected yun kasi mahaba na yung game,” Delos Reyes shared about the strategy UP used during the ninth inning. “Si Diolata was not having good control sa kanyang pitch at siguro dahil heavy hitters na yung batters namin nun. Kahit siguro if I were in that spot, yun din gagawin ko. Lalaban na lang ako sa ibang batters.”
With the win, NU now holds a 4-3 slate. UP, on the other hand, dropped to 3-4 — losing four of its last five games.
“Nakabawi kami pero maganda yung game, dikitan. Maganda ito para sa amin since tumitibay yung dibdib ng players namin. Siyempre, mas maganda ngayon kasi nanalo kami. Entering the second round, hopefully madala namin ito,” said delos Reyes.
NU had 13 runners left on base in the contest. UP, however, had five costly errors.
The Lady Bulldogs looks to build a streak when it takes on the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Monday, February 19. UP faces the DLSU Lady Batters on the same day.