|UST (7-5), T-2nd/3rd||2||0||5||0||0||7||10||0|
|UE (4-7), 6th||0||0||0||0||–||0||1||1|
Last team standing
The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Softbelles demolish also-ran University of the East (UE), 7-0, to force a tie at the second spot in the stepladder semifinals on March 11, Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
UST pulled out all the stops early on to pound on the miscues of the Lady Warriors. Kristine Lacupa started the ball rolling for the España-based squad as she advanced off a throwing error by shortstop, Ma. Lourdes Blanco. After Almonia flyed out to Blanco in the next play, CJ Roa hit the ball to left field for a home run to score Lacupa and herself to put UST up, 2-0. The UE defense worked as they retire the next two batters.
The Tigresses stepped on the defense pedal after a lead-off walk surrendered to Junaiza Jaspe. The Lady Warriors did not get on base for UST sent their next three batters packing. First inning ended 2-0 with UST on top.
It was a tight second inning as both teams went on the defensive with only Ann Antolihao managing to register a hit on a double for UST. The second inning finished with UST still up by two runs.
That would be the end of the scoreless stint as the Tigresses put their offense forward. Lacupa hit a lead-off single to left field to commence the onslaught. A sacrifice hit by Almonia advanced Lacupa to second. Homer-scorer Roa was walked, and UST had runners on first and second. Celestine Palma hit a single to right to score Lacupa, 3-0. Mallows Garde registered a double afterwards, and UST had runners on the corners. Veteran Charmaine Oria made it a rout as she scored Palma and Garde off a triple to left centerfield, 5-0. Another double by Hannah dela Torre sends Oria home. Antolihao drives another run as dela Torre steps to the plate to put the score at 7-0.
Both teams had difficulties in the next few innings as neither teams add on to the scoreboard and UST walks away with number seven.
When asked about their recent performance, UST pitcher, Antolihao shared that they just wanted to play their best. She was also happy that the team finally played as a cohesive unit. “Nagkaisa na kami. Inisip naming na ilaban naming para sa UST.” Antolihao also relayed what their coach told them about them being the last team standing for UST’s General Championship hopes. “Yung sinabi sa kanya ng office (Institute of Physical Education and Athletics), shineshare niya sa min.” The sophomore said that they will continue with what they are doing, and train hard going into the semis. When asked of their match against University of the Philippines, the sophomore said that their two wins against them was “syempre malaking advantage. Nakaya naming silang talunin ng dalawang beses, why not in the third time?” However, the Tigresses will be ready of any comeback from the Lady Maroons. “Paghahandaan po namin.”