The Philippines eked out a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic to open its Under-15 Women’s Softball World Cup bid on a high note at the Komazawa Olympic Park Sports Complex in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Erica Arnaiz had a rock-solid performance at the mound where she struck out 14 Czech batters and did just enough to survive their foes’ furious comeback in the bottom of the seventh and last inning to hang on the morale-boosting win.

The PH softbelles took a 1-0 lead on a Christine Angel Calaguas RBI (runs batted in) in the first inning, and followed it up with a sacrificial bunt from Jannel Santos that shoved Sheena Joy Capistrano in the second inning.

They took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning with a home in the second and a run by Grazie Bayot via fielder’s choice in the third.

The Cebuana Lhuillier-backed Nationals, who are also supported by the Philippine Airlines, hope to carry the momentum of their rousing triumph when they face the mighty Americans and the Ugandans in a tough double-header on Sunday, Oct. 22.

The Nina Serafico-mentored squad will then clash with Puerto Rico Monday, Oct. 23, and Brazil on Tuesday, Oct. 24, to close out is Group B elimination round campaign.

Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president Jean Henri Lhuillier lauded the team’s impressive start.

"It’s a great start for Team Philippines. Under the guidance of our coaches and managers, we believe that our girls will be able to show the world that they really mean business and come out on top again in their next matches,” he said.

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