UNIVERSITY of Sto. Tomas served notice of its title aspiration with an abbreviated five-inning 7-0 rout of the Lady Eagles in the UAAP softball tournament opener on Friday at Rizal Memorial Ballpark.
Ann Antolihao, back from a knee ligament injury, struck out 11 and allowed only three hits.
It was a huge start for the Tigresses, who are looking to finally claim the top spot after settling for runner-up honors to the Adamson Lady Falcons the past two seasons.
University of the East also came up with a huge opening-day performance, scoring a come-from-behind 4-3 win over National University.
Lady Warrior pinch hitter Michelle Mercado belted out a solo home run at the bottom of the seventh and final frame to tie the count at 3 before Sheleen Quintos singled in Mary Joy Catacutan for the winning run.
Mercado was awarded the ball she blasted 220-feet to left center, the first batter to circle the bases in one stroke of the bat this season.
The Lady Falcons start their bid for an eight straight title when they meet NU’s Lady Bulldogs on Saturday in another tripleheader at the seven-decade-old Rizal Memorial Baseball/Softball Stadium.
Coach Ana Santiago’s Lady Falcons meet the Lady Bulldogs at 11 a.m., with the latter trying to make up for that embarrassing loss to the Lady Warriors.
UST and UP decide which between them will stay as temporary leader when they collide a 1 p.m.