Lyca Basa outduels Ann Antolihao as Lady Falcons down Tigresses to secure No. 1 spot
Lyca Basa ad the Lady Falcons score their seventh win in eight games. Photo courtesy of Jun Veloso

LYCA Basa overcame Ann Antolihao in a pitching duel as Adamson University nipped University of Santo Tomas, 2-1, on Monday in the second round of the UAAP Women’s softball eliminations at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

The defending champion Lady Falcons scored their seventh win in eight times up, assuring themselves of top spot regardless of the outcome of their last two assignments and earning a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.

With Adamson’s big bats silent, coach Ana Santiago relied on the lower half of her batting order who responded at the bottom of the fifth and seventh frames where they tied the count and scored the winning run, respectively.

Antolihao contributed to her own downfall and that of the Tigresses by walking Lady Falcon rightfielder Jenette Rusia who came all the way from second base to the plate on a single by centerfielder Krisha Cantor, second to last in Adamson’s order of hitters.

With one down, Antolihao gave Rusia free access to first base, opening the gate for Flor Pabiania to advance her to third on a standing double to right.

The Cebuana right-hand pitching machine then struck out designated player Gelyn Lamata, drawing cheers from a handful of UST students watching the thriller and sensing the game was over.

But Cantor, 18 , from Batanes province, swung at Antolihao’s second pitch sending a hot grounder between the UST pitcher’s legs to second base girl Hannah dela Torre’s gloves, not enough time to beat Rusia who easily crossed the plate.

The Tigresses, who dropped to 6-3, the National University Lady Bulldogs (6-4), University of the East Lady Warriors (5-5) and University of the Philippines Lady Maroons are fighting it out for the next semis slots.

NU demolished La Salle, 10-4, while Ateneo finally barged into the win column following 10 earlier defeats by edging UE, 3-2, as Lady Eagles head coach Randy Dizer stood on the field for the first time following a mild heart attack last month.  

Basa and the Lady Falcons and Antolihao and the Tigresses fought evenly in the first four frames and UST appeared to have gained the upper hand when they broke the ice at the top of the fifth, scoring the first run on a pair of singles aided by a base-on-balls.

Three consecutive hits – a two-base shot to left by Lamata and a single each by third base girl Michelle Padasas and Cantor – saw the two arch-rivals tied a 1-all.

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