SANTO Tomas cut short the winning run of Polytechnic University of the Philippines with a masterful 7-3 victory on Friday and kept its flickering semifinal hopes alive in Group B of the Cebuana Lhuillier National Intercollegiate Women's Softball Championship at the Rosario Sports Complex in Pasig City.
Malous Garde pitched a four-hit seven-inning game, while her teammates complemented the efforts with six connections off a pair of PUP hurlers as the Growling Tigresses collected their third victory in four outings.
National University blasted Ateneo, 12-1, in just six innings and joined UST, PUP, and University of the East in the frantic race to make it to the next round of the tournament.
UST and PUP are currently on top spot of Group B with identical 3-1 cards, while NU, which lost its debut game against UST, 14-1, is in third with a 2-1 slate.
Even with a 2-3 record, UE still has a chance of making the semis, depending on the outcome of the remaining games to be held on Saturday and Sunday.
The Lady Warriors started their campaign with a bang, winning their first two games only to suffer a pair of setbacks in their last two outings.
For UE to remain in contention, it must beat CLSU and hope that PUP and UST loses their remaining assignments.
NU is fancied to get past Central Luzon State University of Munoz, and has an even chance against PUP on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Rizal Technological University of Mandaluyong City joined defending champion Adamson University as group semis qualifier following its 10-0 shutout of St. Louis University.
CLSU finally barged into the win column following two straight defeats with a five-inning, 11-4 beating of Ateneo. The Lady Eagles suffered their fourth loss in as many games.
Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president Jean Henri Lhuillier expressed satisfaction over the results of the games, especially the way all teams have been performing in particular those representing the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association and provincial teams St. Louis University of Baguio and CLSU.
“Results of the games featuring provincial and SCUAA teams are very encouraging as far as our aim of developing the sport in the grassroots level is concerned,” said Lhuillier, who noted SCUUA teams are now beating their counterparts from the UAAP.
“Developments we're seeing here also mean that we have to continue with this particular program as well as organize more schools tournaments, not only here in Metro Manila but in the provinces, likewise," he added