University of Santo Tomas (UST) posted a nerve-wracking 6-5 win over defending champion Adamson University to force a rubber match in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 softball best-of-three championship on Monday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Field in Manila.
UST’s defensive strategy worked as they hold off the Lady Falcons in the first four innings with Tigresses head coach Sonny Barredo fielding Mallows Garde as starting pitcher.
“The good thing is that Mallows Garde delivers for UST today. [I told them], it is no choice na tapusin na ang laro or maglalaro pa kayo next game, bahala kayo. [Another] good thing was we hold them off,” said Barredo during the postmatch interview. “Sinurprise ko lang siya [Garde]. Walang plans na siya ang magsta-start ngayon kasi baka ma-excite at mawalan ng control,” he said.
Garde said “Hindi pa ako na-satisfy sa sarili ko. Hindi ko alam na pupukol ako today. Nagulat ako na maganda ‘yung performance ko kaya sabi ko ilalaban ko ito. Medyo nahirapan lang umiscore, sakto may runner sa base, so sabi ko Lord isa lang. Lumabas yung palo.” An at-bat of UAAP Season 78 Best Hitter Cristy Joy Roa awarded Kristine Joy Lacupa the second base before Garde’s 1-2 run-batted-ins (RBI) sent Roa and Lacupa into their respective bases in the bottom four. A successful three-run homer in the sixth inning gave Adamson its first point of the game. But Lacupa also hit a three-run homer in the bottom seventh that paved the way for UST to claim the victory. “Masyadong late na ‘yung offense namin lumabas tapos yung depensa namin nag eerror pa,” said Adamson coach Ana Santiago. “Nagkamali kaya kami ang natalo. Maganda depensa ng kalaban kaysa sa depensa namin. Marami kaming mistake sa game na ito,” she added. The series now tied at 1-1 with Adamson scoring a 9-2 win in Game 1 last week. The deciding Game 3 is scheduled on Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the same venue.