ADAMSON got off to a strong start, as expected, but debuting National University stole the spotlight with a huge opening-day victory in the UAAP softball tournament on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
With a team composed mainly of players from Rizal province, the Lady Bulldogs made a big splash early in the tournament as they outclassed last season’s runner-up University of the Philippines, 11-5.
Although the school has been a regular in the baseball competitions, NU is fielding a softball team for the first time since the sport was introduced in the UAAP in 1953 as the school continues to reinvigorate its sports program following the entry of the SM Group of Companies as stakeholders.
Meanwhile, last season’s UAAP Athlete of the Year Rizza Bernardino pitched a no-hitter as the Lady Falcons scattered 12 runs in the third inning to rip De La Salle, 15-0, in only three innings to begin their title defense.
Bernardino’s Philippine Blu Girls teammates Queeny Sabobo and Julie Marie Muyco also came up with run-scoring hits in the third inning for the Lady Falcons, combining for seven runs batted in.
In the other game, University of Santo Tomas defeated Ateneo, 8-1.
Adamson head coach Ana Santiago was quick to play down the big opening-day victory.
“Matagal pa ang tournament. Marami pa kaming pagdadaanan. Kailangan pa naming mag-focus,” Santiago said.
The national coach also said she wasn’t surprised by the sterling performance of the Lady Bulldogs on opening day.
“NU is the team to beat. Puro rookies sila, tinalo nila ang veteran team,” said Santiago.