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News  


UAAP Softball: Lady Tigresses ready this year


PhilBoxing.com


Will “Next Year” finally arrive for University of Santo Tomas in this season’s UAAP Women’s Softball?

For two years in-a-row, the Growling Tigresses couldn’t get past the Adamson Lady Falcons as the varsity league’s queens of softball vowing to bounce back the following year failing each time.


With ace hurler Ann Antolihao, the missing link in the Growling Tigreses’ losing cause last year back in harness, the España-based softbelles looked formidable again as they celebrated the 2018 tournament inaugurals Thursday, serving notice of their determined bid to end a two-year exercise in futility they experienced in 2016 and 2017.

Antolihao muzzled Ateneo to measly three hits in an abbreviated five-inning, 7-0, shutout of the Lady Eagles in a day that saw the fastball throwing mound girl strikeout 11 batters in a superb performance that almost overshadowed fifth-ranked University of the East’s stunning reversal of third-seed National University, a come-from-behind 4-3 triumph at the Rizal Memorial Ballpark.

Antolihao, who had just recovered fro an ACL injury she suffered last season, stood 10-feet tall at the mound without relief and watched the Lady Eagles self-destruct by allowing the Tigresses decide the issue right in the opening period where they scored their only needed run on a pair of sacrifices aided by two errors.

Antolihao allowed only three Ateneo batters to reach first base, one in the second frame and two other in the third. She didn’t let anyone advance to second.

Lady Warrior pinch hitter Michelle Mercado belted out a solo homerun at the bottom of the seventh and final frame to tie the count for UE, 3-all, before Sheleen Quintos singled in Mary Joy Catacutan three plays later for the winning run.

By league tradition, Mercado was awarded the ball she sent over the 220-feet be left-center field fence as the first batter to circle the bases in one stroke of the bat.

University of the Philippines needed a five-run explosion in the last three innings to repulse a fighting La Salle side rounding out a three-game opening day schedule in what promised another exciting race for supremacy where the six other title pretenders will try to end the Lady Falcons’ seven straight-year reign.

The Lady Archers looked to duplicate UE’s upset mood showing the way, 3-0, after three completed innings only to succumb to the Lady Maroons’ superiority on both sides of the field.

It’s the Lady Falcons turn to show how they intend to extend their domination for another year when they meet NU’s Lady Bulldogs Saturday in another triple header at the seven-decade-old Rizal Memorial Baseball/Softball Stadium.

Coach Ana Santiago’s girls meet the Lady Bulldogs at 11 a.m. with the latter trying to make up for that embarrassing loss the Lady Warriors. UST and UP decide which between them will stay as temporary leader when they collide a 1 p.m.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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