University of the Philippines outlasted defending, nine-time UAAP Softball champion Adamson University in a match that lasted for 11 innings, taking a 3-2 walkoff victory, Saturday at UP Diliman Baseball Field.
Entering the contest, both the Fighting Maroons and the Lady Falcons were sporting 3-0 records. And it was a war of attrition for both sides, raring to end the first round with a pristine slate.
“This is big for us for UP softball. They are the defending champions at puro national team. May break talaga yung sa yo yung laro,” said UP head coach Ron Pagkalinawan.
At the bottom of the 11th inning and with just one out, the Lady Maroons were able to load the bases with Aila Subaldo in third base.
First baseman Martine Francisco uncorked a grounder to shortstop Angelu Gabriel, who threw the ball to first base. However, the ball could not make it to home plate for the double play as Subaldo secured the walk-off win.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanila, walang bibitaw kasi hindi talaga puwede bumitaw pag Adamson ang kalaban mo. Defending champion sila at puro national team. Wala talagang bibitaw sa laban na yun. Buti na lang yung girls, talagang disidido sila ipanalo yung game,” said Pagkalinawan.
At the top of the 11th, the Lady Falcons of Ana Santiago had a chance for the go-ahead.
Senior Jenette Rusia was at third base with just one out when Roma Cruz fired a fly to center field. Rusia did not attempt to run home, though, leaving her stranded to end the inning which led to the UP walk-off in the next inning.
The grueling tilt also saw an injury during the 10th inning when Adamson first baseman Elsie Dela Torre, a transferee from the disbanded National University softball team, suffered a left knee injury during a fielding sequence.
The game also saw no-relief efforts for pitchers Glory Alonzo of Adamson and Kacelyn Valino of UP.
Valino only allowed five hits while striking out four batters, while Alonzo gave up eight hits while striking two batters out.
Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas notched two wins for the day to rise to solo third with an even 2-2 slate. They defeated De La Salle University, 9-2, to open the gameday, before beating Ateneo de Manila University, 6-3.
Against the Lady Green Batters, the Tiger Softbelles went on a five-run on four hits inning that turned a 2-2 deadlock into a comfortable cushion.
UST also had a big inning against Ateneo, churning four runs in the fourth inning to break away from the Blue Eagles.
Rookie Royeve Palma pitched both games, fanning four batters in seven innings against La Salle while pitching the first three innings of the game against Ateneo.
Both Ateneo and La Salle dropped to 0-3 in the standings.
Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
DLSU 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 2 7 6
UST 1 0 0 0 5 2 x 9 7 0
Game 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
ADU 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 3
UP 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 8 2
Game 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
ADMU 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 6 0
UST 2 0 0 0 4 0 x 6 8 3