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Tiebreaker Times


UST duplicates win over UE, claims solo third

The University of Santo Tomas Tiger Softbelles started the second round of eliminations the way they kicked off the season: beating the University of the East Lady Warriors. This time, the Tigresses pulled it off with a walk-off victory, 4-3, Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Lady Warriors started the match on a good note after scoring two runs at their side of the very first inning. Lourdes Blanco hit a line drive, which UST second baseman Hannah Del Torre failed to catch, to gain first base. Imee Salvador then sent Blanco home in ensuing play with a double to deep center. Salvador crossed home herself with Joy Redata at bat to put UE on top, 2-0.

The Tigresses were able to cut the deficit to one at the bottom of the first. Two straight hits from Dela Torre and Christine Palma put UST in the scoreboards. Dela Torre had a single, before Palma scored the former with a double to right-center. Reigning Best Hitter CJ Roa threatened to level the game, with her and Palma in scoring position. Fortunately for UE, Roa was on base and not at the plate, as starting pitcher Jonavie Jerezano successfully fanned Lealyn Guevarra to end the inning.

“Kinakabahan po kasi may palo sila at may depensa sila sa game na ito,” UST sophomore Hannah dela Torre admitted.

UST finally got the lead in their side of the following inning. Charmaine Oria led a two-out rally for the Tigresses with a double to left-center. Kristine Lacupa then scored Oria with a solid hit to almost the same spot. With Palma at bat, the graduating third baseman reached home herself and snagged the lead for UST.

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Both defenses held throughout the middle of the game, until the Lady Warriors tied the match at the top of the 5th inning. After getting just a hit from the past three innings, Kathleen Soliven drove a double to the left-center to kick it off for UE. Blanco was forced out at first base, but was able to advance Soliven on a scoring position at third. Charlene Quintos then sent Soliven home with a fly ball to UST shortstop Guevarra for the tying run.

With game at hand, the Tigresses took the advantage for one last time. Needing hits to break their long slump in the match and to take the victory, Oria fired a booming triple center-right and gained a huge chance for the win at the final inning. UST could afford long flies and send Oria home and get the win. They did just that. Lacupa almost finished the game off, but her ball reached only as far as the UE shortstop Quintos. On her turn at bat, Dela Torre, this time sent it farther to the left field, and scored her third baseman for UST’s fourth win of the season.

“Kanina nung nasa labas ako, hindi ko ineexpect na papalo pa ako,” Dela Torre said about the game-winning hit.

“Every game namin, si Lacupa talaga yung papalo. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, ako na ‘to, time ko na ito.”

In winning their first assignment of the season, Dela Torre shared that it was another monkey off their backs to start the round with a win. “Happy kami kasi nakuha namin yung first game namin sa second round tsaka intense yung game,” she said. “Buti na lang may palo yung iba kahit hindi sunod-sunod at least nanalo.”

UST pitcher Ann Antolihao was silent on offense, but led the charge for the Tigresses on defense as she gave up only 5 hits on a complete game. Oria had an impressive 2-of-3 outing at the plate, and registered two runs including the walk-off run.

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The Tiger Softbelles will face the De La Sall University Lady Batters, while the Lady Warriors will tackle the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons. Both games are set to be played on Saturday.

UE (3-4)21351
UST (4-3)121471

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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