In an early season classic, seven-time defending Adamson University Lady Falcons had to earn their first win, needing a clutch performance by senior Riezel Calumbres to escape the National University Lady Bulldogs, 2-1, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
“Ako naman, bago mag-start yung UAAP, sinabi ko na sa kanila na malaki ang chance namin manalo pag may palo kami,” shared decorated mentor Ana Santiago. “I’m happy for them, sila talaga yung nagpanalo nito.”
This is Adamson’s debut for the 80th Season of the UAAP. NU, a team coming off a 4-3 heartbreak last Thursday against the University of the East Lady Warriors, fell to 0-2.
The Lady Falcons struggled to find their groove on offense during the first six innings of the contest. In that span, Adamson only had a single hit, leaving six batters stranded.
“Wala kaming palo e,” rued Santiago.
Entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lady Falcons were down 0-1. Ghene Nietes’ single brought home Nicole Ordayo during the fifth inning.
An error by shortstop Ordayo gave Edna Severino base with one out. A running punt by Leslie Benabaye in the next play resulted in a catching error Kristine Acuna. To make matters worse, a fielding error by Nietes at second base loaded up the bases for Adamson.
“Yung mga play na lang nagpanalo sa amin at bilis nung mga player. Siguro yung play namin na kahit one-out, runner at first, nagpa-running hit ako,” added Santiago.
Second batter Calumbres then took to plate. After going 0-for-3 prior, the Adamson senior was able to pop one to center field. Severino punched in the tying run, while Benabaye, who ran as if there was no tomorrow, punched in the game-winner.
“Bumalik na lang kami sa batting order tapos si Calumbres, naka-dalawang palo na siya, one-out and runner at third, pero walang nangyari. Yung third niya, yun na yung moment niya,” beamed Santiago.
Lyca Basa, Adamson’s pitcher, had five strikeouts in the contest but gave up six hits. NU ace Mia Macapagal, who pitched the entire game, only gave up two hits.
Asked about her outlook for the season, Santiago just smiled, saying, “This year talaga it’s anybody’s ball game. Talagang maganda yung labanan this year.”
If this game’s an indication, the league is in for one heck of a ride.
Adamson will next face the upstart De La Salle University Lady Batters on Monday, February 5, at 11:00am. NU, on the other hand, look to snap their skid when they take on the same team on Thursday, February 8 at 9:00am.