MANILA, Philippines - Shortstop Quennie Sabobo blasted a solo lead-off home run at the top of the first inning and Julie Mari Muyco struck out the first two batters that crossed her path as Adamson U fashioned out an easy 11-3 five-inning victory over Rizal Tech for its back-to-back Cebuana Lhuillier National Intercollegiate Women’s Softball Championship yesterday at the dilapidated Rosario Sports Complex in Pasig.
Muyco, younger sister of the country's former No. 1 pitcher Cloiene, designated player Analie Benjamin and Rizza Bernardino picked up from where Sabobo left at the plate, driving in six runs as they formed the core of the star-studded Lady Falcons’ mighty offensive thrust.
The 20-year-old Bacolod City native also stood high at the mound, limiting the Mandaluyong sluggers to four hits, while striking out four more in an outstanding show of her now-fast, now-slow pitching style that also included a sprinkling of deceptive risers and sinkers
Bernardino, hero of Adamson's sweep of the elimination and semifinal rounds while manning the hill, went three-for-three at bat with a pair of singles and a triple, while Benjamin was three-of-four with another three-base hit as they made mincemeat of Malou Garcia’s variety of pitches.
Benjamin’s two extra base hit in the opening frame saw the Lady Falcons, winners of this tournament last year as well as the National Open and the UAAP, soar to a 2-0 advantage that was bloated to 4-0 by a single each by Bernardino and leftfielder Luzviminda Embudo.
The Lady Falcons, four of whom are members of the Phl Blu Girls and five of Big League World Series titleholder Team Manila, never looked back after that even as RTU showed some flashes of brilliance scoring at the bottom of the second on a pair of connections and an inning later on a triple by centerfielder Nuds Ibañez.
"Well, this is a good tuneup for the coming UAAP where we are also defending our crown," said Adamson multi-titled coach Ana Santiago, who collected her 20th championship as head coach.
The Growling Tigresses dominated PUP, 8-4, in the battle for third place.