Lady Falcons rule Women’s Softball Championship

Written by EDDIE G. ALINEA

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 University fashioned out an easy 11-3 five-inning victory over Rizal Technological University (RTU) for its back-to-back Cebuana Lhuillier National Intercollegiate Women’s Softball Championship yesterday at the dilapidated Rosario Sports Complex in Pasig City.

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 three runs, two runs and three runs, respectively as they formed the core of the star-studded Lady Falcons’ mighty offensive thrust.

The now-20-year-old Muyco of Bacolod City, likewise, stood high at the mound limiting the Mandaluyong sluggers to merely four hits, while striking out four more in an outstanding show of her now-fast, now-slow pitching style that also including a sprinkling of deceptive risers and sinkers that mesmerized those facing here.

Bernardino, hero of Adamson’s sweeping the elimination and semifinals 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 Malous 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 University Athletic Association of the Philippines, roared 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 PH 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 a pair at the bottom of the second on a pair of connections and a marked an inning later on a triple by centerfielder Nuds Ibañez.

“Well, this is a good tune-up for the coming UAAP where we are also defending our crown,” Adamson multi-titled coach Ana Santiago, who collected her 20th championship as a head coach, said.

The pint-sized former understudy of softball great Filomeno “Boy” Codiñera, likewise, was architect of the Philippine Blu Girls’ last two title conquest in the Southeast Asian Games.

Adamson advanced to the gold medal play by eliminating arch-rival University of Santo Tomas in their Final Four encounter earlier in the day while RTU shutout ambitious Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), 4-0, in their side of the semifinals.

The Growling Tigresses dominated PUP, 8-4, in the battle for third place.

Still earlier in the day, PUP outlasted National University, 2-1, in the elimination round-ending match up.