MANILA relied on the long ball once again, overcoming a six-run deficit to sneak past Michigan District Two, 12-9, on Sunday (Monday, Manila time) and enhance its chances of a finals spot in the Big League Softball World Series in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Gene Joy Parilla connected on a tiebreaking two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning where the Manila softbelles scored eight runs to overhaul an 8-3 lead.
California and defending champion Grand Rapids, Michigan are the top two teams in the standings with 5-1 and 4-1 win-loss records respectively but Manila is closing in with a 4-2 slate following its fourth straight victory.
Manila will face Grand Rapids in a crucial rematch of last year’s final where the winner will most likely make it to the championship round.
Mary Joy Floranza led off the fifth with a single and Krisna Paguican walked before Rizza Bernardino doubled to push home Floranza.
Michelle Lentija advanced Paguican and Bernardino home with a single as Queeny Sabobo cut the deficit to one run on another single. Sabobo scored the tying run at 8-8 on a groundout by Maria Luna Amparo.
With Glesyl Opjer on second base after a walk, Parilla drilled a 3-1 pitch by Alex Elwell for a two-run home run to give Manila a 10-8 lead.
On her second at-bat of the inning, Floranza singled, stole second and advanced home on a Paguican single for a three-run cushion.
Andrea Mae Gonzales tucked in another run in the sixth for a 12-8 lead, a cushion good enough for the victory even with one run being scored by Michigan in their final chance at the top of the seventh.