MANILA, Philippines - Adamson University picked up two more victories hours apart to claim the first semifinal slot in Group A of the Cebuana Lhuillier National Intercollegiate women’s softball championship at the Rosario Sports Complex in Pasig.
Barely 12 hours after a 10-0 win over Rizal Technological U Tuesday, the Lady Falcons scored their fourth straight yesterday morning with a 16-0, three-inning shutout of Bulacan State U and moved to within a game of sweeping the five-team Group A and formally advance to the crossover Final Four.
Defending champion Adamson, seeking a grand slam of sorts following title conquests of the UAAP and National Open, sets out for its fifth win today against La Salle.
The San Marcelino-based Lady Falcons worked behind Julie Mari Muyco’s one-hit job and a 12-hit power display of her teammates to survive an early challenge put up by their RTU to keep their immaculate win-loss record intact
Muyco, shortstop Queenie Sabobo, leftfielder Krisna Paguican, catcher Elvie Entrina and their rookies feasted on losing hurler Veronica Billeza all day long.
The 10-team tournament is sponsored by Cebuana Lhuillier, Cebuana Pera Padala, Le Soleil de Boracay, Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions, Just Jewels and Phiten.
It needed though the title defender four frames to finally disarmed Billeza, their teammates in Big League World Series champion Team Manila, who held her own in the first four innings where she limited the Lady Lady Falcons to mere three hits and a run in that stretch.
But as soon as coach Ana Santiago’s girls found their marks by tagging Billeza with five hits that produced five runs at the top of the fifth, there was no stopping the Lady Falcons, who erupted for four more runs in the sixth to turn what started as a tight match into a complete domination
Like in their 29-0 mangling of Baguio City’s St. Louis University in the opening day Monday, Santiago used her second stringers against Bulacan State, another out-of-town participant using the tournament to hone up for the coming regional meets on the way to representing their regions in next year’s Palarong Pambansa.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines turned out to be the first surprised package of the series by besting last year’s runner up University of the East in a marathon eight-inning Group B contest.
Outhit but not outfought, the PUP clouters matched the Lady Warriors hit-for-hit, run-for-run all of their seven-inning encounter before outplaying the enemies with a three-run, two-hit binge in the extra period starring Joan Lumagas and Michelle Abenales, who both came out with a pair of two-base hits.
That three-run extra inning eruption broke a 2-all deadlock forged as early as the opening frame and somewhat derailed UE’s bid for a semifinal berth in the group.
The Bulakenas came back later in the day to claim their first win in three times up with a 6-3 spanking of St. Louie, which dropped to 0-3.
Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president Jean Henri Lhuillier, who arrived the other day from a business trip in Korea, expressed elation upon learning that 12 teams are taking part in the series known previously named the Ateneo Invitational Championship.
“Inter-Collegiate allows new young softball players to feel the field in a competitive level. Playing against and with some of the members of the Asia-Pacific women’s team is a good opportunity to learn more and improve their skills. Softball is a sport where the Philippines excel both in men’s and women’s division and ASAPHIL will continue to provide programs to support the potential of our youth in this sport," Lhuiller said.