Asian Games: PH loses heartbreaker to Chinese-Taipei in key softball face-off

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2018 11:12 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2018 02:36 AM

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Courtesy of Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

(UPDATED) The Philippines lost to Chinese-Taipei 3-2 in Asian Games softball in Jakarta on Wednesday.

A 2-run home run by Hailey Decker at the top of the fourth inning gave the Blu Girls a 2-1 lead, answering an RBI single by Lai Mengting that put Chinese-Taipei in front first.

But Li Szushih’s leadoff dinger off pitcher Kaith Jalandoni evened the score at 2-2 still in the fourth.

The Blu Girls had several opportunities to put the game away, but they couldn’t take advantage of 3 innings in which they loaded the bases. 

So it was up to their defense to try and extend the game in the final frame.

After Blu Girls reliever Sierra Lange walked Chen Chiayi at the bottom of the seventh, Lin Pei Chun came in as a pinch runner for Chen.

Lin advanced to second base on a dropped ball by Blu Girls catcher Cheska Altomonte, then proceeded to third on a sacrifice fly by Lin Chihying.

Lin Pei Chun scored the winning run by capitalizing on a miscommunication between Philippines infielders Angelie Ursabia and Chelsea Suitos on a ground ball by Lai Mengting.

"Masakit kasi we were given more chances of winning the game early but we did not deliver," said Philippines coach Randy Dizer.

"From the beginning, that was the plan, that we will stick to them, stay close.

"But we’ll bounce back (Thursday)."

The Blu Girls again face Chinese-Taipei on Thursday, with the winner advancing to face the loser of the Japan-China game.

The winner of Japan-China gets the first finals berth, while the loser of that game battles the winner of the Philippines-Chinese-Taipei match for the other ticket in the championship round.

A win by the Philippines on Thursday will assure the Blu Girls a bronze medal.

Relief pitcher Tu Yating loaded the bases for the Blu Girls in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but escaped all of them.

The Philippines’ best chance to go up was in the sixth when Decker was called out as she dashed for home base. The umpire ruled Li Szushih tagged Decker first, a call that infuriated Dizer.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)