The UST Tiger Softbelles rout the DLSU Lady Batters, 8-0, to extend their winning streak to four games in the UAAP Season 86 softball tournament at the UP Diliman Baseball Field on Wednesday, March 20. (Photo by Jeremy R. Edera/ The Varsitarian)

UST PITCHER Royevel Palma completed a shutout to lead the Tiger Softbelles against the DLSU Lady Batters, 9-0, in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 softball tournament at the UP Diliman Baseball Field on Wednesday, March 20.

This marked the second time Palma completed a shutout this season. The first time was during UST’s matchup against the UP Fighting Maroons on March 6. 

Palma continued her excellent form on the mound after notching a season-high six strikeouts while allowing only two hits.

With the win, UST improved to a 5-1 win-loss record behind the league-leading and undefeated Adamson (6-0), while DLSU dropped to a 1-6 tally.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Palma pinch-hit and batted in a two-RBI double that plated Christine Bautista and Helga Campos to extend UST’s lead, 7-0. 

A throwing error by DLSU in the middle of the play forced Angela Solidarios and Palma to round the bases and inflate the UST lead to 9-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Palma then retired Michelle Santos, Angelica Rotarte, and Glecilyn Alipato to complete her second shutout and seal the deal for UST. 

“Adjusted na ang batting namin,” UST assistant coach Esmeralda Tayag told the Varsitarian. “Dapat continuous nalang ang paluan nila and pinaghahandaan nila ‘yung next game against UP. Sa defense wala naman silang naging errors, hit lang talaga and ‘yung runners on base.”

Shyla Celis opened the scoring for the Softbelles in the top of the first after plating Erika Fernandez via a sacrifice fly, 1-0.

Fernandez extended UST’s lead in the third after hitting a triple and stealing home on the next play, 2-0.

UST sustained its momentum in the fifth inning after a triple by Fernandez scored rookie Aiza Ganciar and a double by Jojielyn Lim plated Fernandez, 4-0. 

A Charlotte Sales sacrifice fly and an error by DLSU’s Julianne Moral in the same inning allowed Lim to advance to third and subsequently reach home, 5-0.

In the sixth inning, UST’s Angela Bedaño was stretchered out of the field with an apparent right knee injury after sliding to steal second base.

The UST Tiger Softbelles will next face the UP Fighting Maroons at the same venue on Saturday, March 23, at 5 p.m.