After finally finding their batting in their last game against the NU Lady Bulldogs, the De La Salle University Lady Batters are back to where they started the season:
The University of Santo Tomas Tiger Softbelles sent the Lady Batters from Taft Avenue crashing back down in allowing just a single hit and taking advantage of six errors in a 7-0 shutout win to retain solo third place in the standings Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
UST’s ace pitcher and RP Blu Girls member Ann Antolihao made her mark in this game in dominating the entire batting order of the Lady Batters. The UST junior had ten strikeouts in the seven innings she pitched and only allowed a single for the entire game. The only hit La Salle made came from a Jamica Arribas single. However, excellent pitching and fielding by UST left her stranded in third base.
“Pitching medyo condition si Ann. Na-struckout niya ten,” UST head coach Sandy Barredo said about the team’s ace pitcher Antolihao. “Ganda ng pinukol niya ngayon and depensa niya. All is well sa floor defense.”
On the other end, the UST Tiger Softbelles were patient on the bat and waited for the right time for their opponents to make an error.
After gaining a run in the opening inning, lead-off batter Kristine Lacupa gained her second run after a rare “bunt home run” to open the third inning. Lacupa’s bunt ended up going to the left field but a throwing error by third basewoman, rookie Hya Abanilla, led to the super senior gaining home base.
The comedic error was then followed by a huge two-out rally with La Salle failing to close out the inning due to fielding errors. An error at second base gave Charm Oria base while CJ Roa was hit by a pitch that gave UST two bases. After the bases was loaded, rookie slugger Leslyn Guevarra knocked out a huge triple that brought home the three runners and gave UST a 5-0 lead.
“Nagdadag lang ng konteng plays. Yung bunting natin very effective, hindi nila na-expect yun,” Barredo said about the patience displayed by his team in the game. A sharp contrast compared to their first round encounter. “Good thing naka-hit si Guevarra, tatlo runs nun. And yung bunt home run.”
Lacupa was able to punch in her third run of the game in the final inning while Celestine Palma gave an insurance run after. UST’s lead off batter did not have a single hit in the game but all three of her runs came from La Salle’s errors.
The UST Tiger Softbelles will next face the NU Lady Bulldogs in a crucial tilt on Monday, February 22 at 9am. The DLSU Lady Batters will have four days to regroup before facing the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Wednesday, February 24 at 1pm.