IT WAS a runner-up finish anew for the UST Tiger Softbelles as the Adamson University Falcons clinched their seventh straight UAAP softball title, 3-1, in Game 2 of the Season 79 finals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium Friday.
UST suffered an awful finals series as Best Pitcher Ann Antolihao, who suffered a knee injury in the Softbelles’ 2-9 loss in Game 1, could not play in what could have been the series equalizer.
Leading 2-1 heading to the seventh inning, Adamson sealed their 16th softball title as season Most Valuable Player Angelie Ursabia completed the diamond courtesy of Dely Covarrubias’ run-batted-in-single.
The Softbelles still had a chance to make a comeback at the bottom of the seventh but Finals MVP Riflayca Basa, who tallied eight strikeouts, delivered three outs against UST’s first four batters.
“Malaking kabawasan si [Antolihao]. Tayo pa lang naman ang kayang tumalo sa Adamson. Pumutok lang ang tuhod noong Game 1,” said UST head coach Sandy Barredo.
Gelyn Lamata put Adamson up the scoreboard early with a run in the first inning before teammate Nichole Padasas drilled a one-RBI-double which propelled Dely Covarrubias to reach home plate, 2-0.
The Softbelles showed signs of life in the fourth as reliever pinch runner Angel Tonquin ran three bases following CJ Roa’s line-drive hit to cut the lead to one, 1-2.
Graduating team captain Mallows Garde, who started at the mound in lieu of Antolihao’s absence, ended her UAAP career with the tournament’s Best Hitter award behind a 0.429 batting average.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, hindi man tayo manalo this year, bumawi tayo next season para maging maganda ang pag-alis nila. Masaya ako na nakaalis ako na maganda ang pagtatapos ng career ko,” said Garde.