The DLSU Softball team won their third straight match as they escape past NU 6-5 last Saturday. The victory puts them up to solo second in the standings with a 6-3 record.
Though the De La Salle University Lady Batters have found a gem in rookie pitcher Kiana Juan, their opponents must not forget the one who started it all.
Team captain Jamica Arribas may be playing as a relief to the talented newbie, but she came up huge when needed, as the Lady Green Batters out-hustled the National University, 6-5, to break to six wins, Saturday late morning at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
After a sluggish outing over Ateneo, the Taft-based side had to start Juan back at the mound. Nonetheless, it proved to be costly.
La Salle head coach Jasper Cabrera admitted, “Yung maaga na-check nila agad yung pitcher namin. Yung [sa] speed ng bola niya, nakapag-adjust agad yung NU.”
Fortunately for La Salle, the Bulldogs could not capitalize on the latter’s gained bases. Instead, it was even the Green Batters who took the lead after two innings.
At the top of the said frame, Arribas was at the tail end of a double play after she took out Elsie Dela Torre in first base on the throw of shortstop Nica Velasco. Velasco earlier took down Leila Tarroza on the fly ball.
Bernadeth Benson then reached base off a throwing error of NU second baseman Roseann Banatao to first, before Juan blasted the ball over the fences to put La Salle on top at 2-0.
National U had not won five games prior to this on to just roll over and die. They even snagged the lead two innings after, as it was La Salle’s second baseman Gladelyn Alipato who made a defensive miscue on Dela Torre’s turn at bat. The La Sallian had earlier made a catch on a fly ball, then made amends with another stop after that error.
The damage had been done, however, as after Mary Ann Ramos plucked a base hit for the Bulldogs, Rhea Rosales duplicated the single and scored both Dela Torre and Ramos. Afterwards, Mariss Tuliao sent Rosales home for the 3-2 margin.
National U added another run at the following inning, the fifth, but the Green Batters found resolve on their side of the frame, thanks to a combination of timely hitting and Bulldogs’ errors.
Velasco got her lone RBI of the match as she scored Arisa Miranda to cut the deficit to one, 3-4. Then, with Benson batting, Pearly Lorca fumbled a high ball as Velasco and Arroyo crossed the plate. Alipato erased all the mistakes she made as she sent her skipper Arribas home as well with a clutch single.
Arribas scored, and in the following inning took over the mound and anchored the La Salle defense. Despite allowing another run, the former Rookie of the Year pegged National U’s hitting count to just eight at the end of the two-hour tussle.
The team returns to action on Thursday against UE.
DLSU Baseball defeated NU 8-4 Sunday for their fifth win in seven matches. They remain in solo second at 5-2.
Team captain Ignacio Escaño led the team’s charge as he went 4-5 at bat and recorded four runs batted in (RBIs). The ace Luis Miñana also helped the cause as he held NU scoreless for six innings.
DLSU set the tone early on in the match as the leadoff hitter Paolo Salud got to first off an infield single, and then stole second. With Salud safely at second base, Escaño blasted one over the left field wall for a two-run home run.
The next three innings were uneventful for both sides as neither team was able to convert a run. However, the fifth inning saw the Green Batters extend their lead as they started to take advantage of a jaded Mark Carolino, who was eventually replaced by Clairon Santos before the end of the inning. Rosas led off the inning with a bloop single to left. He then reached second base as Salud laid down a sac bunt. With the runner in scoring position, Diego Lozano sent one to deep left for an RBI double. The hot streak did not end there as Escaño followed up with an RBI double of his own to end the inning with La Salle up 4-0.
In the sixth inning, the Green Batters scored three more runs, courtesy of errors by the Bulldogs. With Bill Evangelista and Angelo Tantuico on second and first, respectively, Tuwi Park laid down a perfect bunt. However, the Bulldogs were unable to get the force out on first as a throwing error allowed both Evangelista and Tantuico to cross the plate. With Park at third, a passed ball allowed him to score another run for the Green-and-White to take a seven to nothing lead.
For La Salle, rookie pitcher Joshua Pineda made his debut as he relieved Miñana to start off the seventh inning. Despite being down by seven runs, the Bulldogs did not let up. With the bases loaded, Greg Andres’ single allowed Ron Salaysay to cross the plate. This was followed by a wild pitch that allowed Aeron Limon to score another run for the Bulldogs. The other rookie, Marthy Rañada, relieved Pineda, but was afflicted with the same fate as NU scored two more runs, cutting DLSU’s lead to three, 7-4. With the Bulldogs coming close to leveling to contest, Boo Barandiaran took over the mound to hold them scoreless in the succeeding innings.
La Salle’s last offensive act saw Barandiaran send a ball deep into right center field for a double. With the runner in scoring position, Escaño hit a hot grounder up the middle for an RBI single.
In the final frame of the match, Barandiaran quickly ended the game as a 1-2-3 inning allowed the Green Batters to tally another win.
With three games left in the elimination round, it is important for the team to win all of them to avoid any possible complications. There is no semifinal round in UAAP Baseball as the top two teams will battle outright for the championship. Ateneo continues to lead the tournament at 6-1.
Their match against third place UST (4-3) on Wednesday will be big.