The stars aligned for the University of the East Lady Warriors last Saturday as they not only booked the last Final Four spot but also gained third seed entering the penultimate stage of the UAAP Season 80 Softball tournament.
A loss by the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons earlier in the day to the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Softbelles, 2-6, punched the Lady Warriors’ ticket to the semifinals.
For their part, the Lady Warriors did not settle, taking 7-0 shutout over the NU Lady Bulldogs to avoid defending champions Adamson Lady Falcons in the semis.
“Nag-usap kami na hindi kami puwedeng matalo dito. Nanalo yung UST pero may bearing pa rin ito sa amin. Yung talo namin sa Ateneo, binawi namin. Sa awa ng Diyos, lumabas yung palo namin,” said third-year Lady Warriors head coach Edzel Bacarisas.
After punching in the first run of the game, the Lady Warriors heated up in the last three innings of the contest, connecting eight times for six runs.
Imee Salvador and Kathleen Soliven both had two RBIs in the contest with the latter knocking off her first homer of the season during the seventh inning.
“Maganda sa pakiramdam at motivated kami na ito yung pinakamagandang mga laro namin,” added Bacarisas.
On the other end, Lovely Radaja surrendered just two hits while striking out two batters in a no-relief effort.
UE will face UST on Thursday with the Tiger Softbelles holding a twice-to-beat advantage. League-leading Adamson, who took a 10-0 win over the DLSU Lady Batters in the first game of the day, takes on the NU Lady Bulldogs on the same day.
For La Salle, first basewoman Judie Ramos played her final final UAAP game.
The Lady Maroons, on the other hand, had three student-athletes make their final run in the diamond of the historic Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Chanti Bongat and Gelai Penales, UP’s co-captains, had their last dance with the Lady Maroons. In a surprise, MJ Abanes followed suit.
UP ended their campaign at fifth place with a 5-7 slate while La Salle ended up at sixth with a 4-8 record.