MANILA (PNA) — 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 for its back-to-back Cebuana Lhuillier National Intercollegiate Women’s Softball Championship last Oct. 21 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 20-year-old Muyco from 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 included a sprinkling of deceptive risers and sinkers that mesmerized the batters.
Bernardino, hero of Adamson’s sweeping the elimination and semifinal rounds while manning the hill, went three-of-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 UAAP, 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, an inning later, a triple by centerfielder Nuds Ibanez.
“Well, magandang tuneup ito para sa coming UAAP where we are also defending our crown,” said Adamson multi-titled coach Ana Santiago, who collected her 20th championship as a head coach.
“Maganda naman kasi ang recruitment program ng Adamson at talagang binibigyan kami ng management ng exposure sa mga local and even international tournaments. We owe our recent successes sa programa ng school,” said Santiago, who also guided the Manila Golden Girls to the country’s first Big League Wolrld Series championship two months ago in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The pint-sized former understudy of softball great Filomeno “Boy” Codinera was also 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 the Final Four encounter earlier in the day while RTU shut out ambitious Polytechnic University, 4-0, in their side of the semis.
The Growling Tigresses dominated PUP, 8-4, in the battle for third place.