MANILA, Philippines – Ann Antolihao produced seven strikeouts as University of Santo Tomas (UST) turned back Adamson University, 4-3, and move on the cusp of ending a long title drought in the UAAP softball tournament on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
The eight-peat seeking Lady Falcons could only muster five hits in the game, but still managed to cut the deficit to one run in the bottom third. However, they could not get past Antolihao's solid pitching the rest of the way.
"Pipilitin naming matapos ng Friday," said Tigresses coach Sandy Barredo, referring to the potential clincher at 9 a.m. at the same Malate venue.
UST is gunning for its first softball title since the 2009-10 season.
The Lady Falcons took a 2-1 lead in the second inning, with Jeanette Rusia and Flor Pabiania belting consecutive homeruns.
CJ Roa, Tin Palma and Bianca Hernandez shone in the three-run third inning to give the Tigresses a 4-2 lead.
Adamson still had something to celebrate, however. Their baseball team carved out an abbreviated 14-4 triumph over De La Salle University to seize a 1-0 lead in their own best-of-3 series.
The Falcons, who last ruled the league in 2010, will go for the clincher at 12 noon on Friday.
Coach Orlando Binarao was satisfied the way his troops played in the opener, as Adamson raced to a four-run lead and was in total control the rest of the way to close out the game in only seven innings.
"Mabuti at nag-click ang mga isinikripisyo namin," said Binarao, aware that most of the Green Batters have championship experience, having won a game two years ago. "Actually ang mga players, I always tell them na maging physically and mentally prepared lagi."
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