The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons started the second round on a bright note with a 4-2 win over the free-falling University of the East Lady Warriors to take solo 4th in the UAAP Season 78 Softball Tournament, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The Lady Maroons were able to establish an early lead in the first four innings of the game. During the second inning, first batter and team captain Gabin Paz connected on a single to open the inning. After a groundout of the next batter, third year player Ella Martinez brought home her captain to put State U on the board. Then with two outs, consecutive connections by Rose Alinsod and Gela Penales gave Martinez the opportunity to score and put their team up 2-0.
UE’s starting pitcher Elvie Senangote’s pitches went funky during the fourth inning that helped UP extend the lead. Maki Cabriana was walked to give her base. After a groundout and a flyout that gave UE two outs, Senangote’s pitches deceived her in walking Alinsod as well. Senangote then went to pitch eight more balls to walk the top two batters of UP and give up another run. Edcel Bacasiras had to retire Sengote and use rookie Lorraine Collado on the mound. Collado then walked Juliet Omul to send Alinsod home as UP extended their lead to four runs.
During that span, the UP defense held their end. Even in giving up three hits, they were able to leave four UE batters on base. Moreover, UP’s outfielders were able to knockoff five batters as well.
The Lady Warriors had one last run in them in the final two innings. With Lovely Redaja anchoring the defense at the mound, they were able to hold UP down in the final three innings and stranding three UP batters.
In the sixth inning, the Lady Warriors were able to connect on two doubles, the latter a two-outer, that gave Redaja a run coming from a Junaiza Jaspe connection. Then with the batting rotation favoring them in the seventh inning, Lourdes Blanco connected with a huge triple to left field with just one out. After a groundout of the second batter, sophomore Imee Salvador brought home Blanco with another triple. However, a flyout at center field of Roxzell Niloban ended all hopes for a hijack as the UE Lady Warriors drop to fifth place.
The UP Lady Maroons next face the Adamson Lady Falcons on Monday, February 22 at 1pm. On the other hand, the UE Lady Warriors look to bounce back in facing the listless Ateneo Lady Eagles earlier in the day.