|DLSU (6-6), T-4th/5th||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||2|
|UP (7-5), T-2nd/3rd||2||2||0||0||3||7||8||0|
The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons placed the De La Salle University Lady Batters on full lockdown in giving up just two hits in a 7-0 fifth inning stoppage victory on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
Rookie sensation Cochise Diolata and the UP fielders made short work of the DLSU batters in the first two innings in ousting the top six of DLSU’s batting order.
On the other end, the UP Lady Maroons were able to pick up four runs, two runs each at the bottom end of the innings. With the bases loaded for the Lady Maroons in the first inning and no outs, a sacrifice fly by Cochise Diolata paved the way for a Danielle Cruz run. Then with just one out, Dennise Cruz, twin sister of Danielle, popped another sacrifice fly that led to a Isabella Mendoza run. Then, at the bottom half of the second inning, Gabin Paz was hit by a Jamica Arribas pitch. Paz managed to steal third, while a single by Mary Joy Abanes led to a Paz run. With two outs, Isabella Mendoza popped a single that gave Abanes a run. UP held a 4-0 lead by the end of the second inning.
The DLSU Lady Batters were only able to connect with their first hit at the top of the fourth inning with a Mercy Arroyo double. However, Arroyo was left stranded at second after the next two batters were putout by the defense.
DLSU prized recruit and starting pitcher Jamica Arribas got her groove back on the third and fourth innings in giving up no hits. Her UP counterpart, Cochise Diolata, would only give up her second hit of the game in the fifth inning. With two outs, Mercy Arroyo was able to connect with a single but next batter Maria Victoria Munoz’s fly was caught by UP right fielder Gabin Paz for last out.
To close the game out, the Lady Maroons needed to score three runs for a mercy rule win at the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Dennise Cruz connected with a double and was able to steal third base. A ground out of next batter Angela Penales at first base led to UP’s second out. Slugger Gabin Paz more than made up for it with a triple that led to a Dennise Cruz run. A throwing error by DLSU shortstop Judy Macatangay gave Paz a run. A triple by Lily Gonzales gave the Lady Maroons the opportunity to seal the game. A passed ball with Seiko Hashimoto batting gave Gonzales the run and the win. More importantly, the win gives UP the chance to battle for second in their next matchup against the UST Softbelles, who won their game against the UE Lady Warriors.
After the game, we asked UP’s starting pitcher Cochise Diolata on the expectations of the team prior to the season. “Ang aim talaga namin is to get to the top two,” the lanky pitcher told us. “And for me personally, happy ako kasi eto ang sinukli sa amin ng hard training namin.”
Prior to this crucial game, Diolata told us that they took extra time in their hitting. “These past few days more on hitting kami kasi sabi nila yun yung kulang. And kasi si [Jamica] Arribas may slow ball so yun yung pinag-work namin. Yung defense kasi namin nandiyan na. Kulang na lang sa palo.”
And looking forward to a potential showdown against the UST Softbelles with the second seed at stake, the rookie told us that they need to work harder on all the facets of the game. “Para sa amin di pa yun 100%. Iba kasi yung sa training, iba yung sa laro. May pressure kasi. Gusto namin mawala yung pressure or ma-balance out at least.”
Cochise Diolata in the game only gave up two hits, a walk, and only three batters were able to reach base. All three batters were left on base eventually,
On the offensive end, Gabin Paz led the team with two runs, an RBI and a triple. Five other batters were able to pick up runs for the Lady Maroons.
The UP Lady Maroons next play the UST Softbelles on Saturday, March 14 at 11am for the right to gain twice-to-beat in the Stepladder playoffs while the DLSU Lady Batters will head into a do-or-die match against the NU Lady Bulldogs at 9am. Both games will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
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