MANILA -- Adamson University captured its 10th consecutive UAAP softball championship after surviving a gritty challenge from the University of the Philippines, 2-0, on Saturday at the UP Diliman Baseball Field.
The win was the Lady Falcons' 19th title overall and the 15th in the last 17 years. The championship is also the first for the hosts in Season 85.
Two homers in the second inning turned out to be the difference between the two proud sides, with Jenette Rusia and Alaiza Talisik both sending the ball to left field and out of Fighting Maroon Danica Aquino's reach.
With that two-run advantage still hanging in the balance in the seventh inning, the defense got to work after Jamm' Rasco got on base. Three straight outs punctuated UP's gallant stand, ending with an Aila Subaldo fly ball to the second baseman.
"Isang dekada -- actually nung pumasok yung season, sabi ko sa mga player ko dito sa team na 'to, ito na ata -- importante naman lahat -- pero ito na yata yung pinaka, magiging sweetest because of the time, because of that one decade. Yun talaga ang target ko," said Adamson coach Ana Santiago after completing the two-game Finals sweep.
The season's Best Pitcher, Glory Alonzo, proved her worth at the mound, blanking UP despite giving up three hits and three walks. The eventual Finals MVP, Alonzo, and the Ladu Falcons' defense then made amends by stranding four Fighting Maroons on base.
"Actually, ayaw ko nang isipin yung mga darating na taon. Basta sa 'kin ang iniisip kong pinaka-importante is this year. Whatever will happen next year, ayoko siyang isipin. Basta as of now, I'm happy na champion ako. I have 10 championship trophies straight," said Santiago.
Rusia ended her collegiate career with a home run, a .333 batting average, and a run for the Lady Falcons, while first baseman Remilie Herrero was solid on defense with nine putouts.
The biggest chance for UP to score came at the start of the match when Danica Aquino came into prime scoring position on second base but was eventually tagged out on the relay throw.
Only Subaldo went to a .500 batting average, going one for two, while Rasco and Reuel Caoagdan went one-for-three.
The Fighting Maroons missed the services of Season Most Valuable Player Nickole Dela Cruz, who suffered a hyper-extended knee on a collision with Laica Atlas in Game 1. Dela Cruz was also awarded as Best Hitter (.545 average), Best Slugger (.955 average), and got the Most Runs Batted-In (RBIs) at 10.
For the now 10-time champions, joining Alonzo in the individual awardees' circle were Madaelene Domaug, who had the Most Stolen Bases with five, and Ma. Angelu Gabriel, who had the Most Home Runs at two.
Ateneo de Manila University slugger Genesis Degolacion was named the Rookie of the Year.