The defending champions, the DLSU Green Batters, were unable to defend their crown as their 6-4 win-loss record was not enough to get them a spot in the UAAP Season 79 Baseball Tournament finals. It is a disappointing finish for a team that expected nothing less than a repeat of last year’s success.
It was similarly a rollercoaster campaign for the DLSU Lady Batters, as they just missed out on qualifying for the Final Four in the UAAP Season 79 Softball Tournament. After successfully securing a tiebreaker with DLSU by the end of the elimination round, the UP Lady Maroons booked the last ticket to the postseason at the expense of the Green-and-White, 10-3.
Green Batters fail to advance to the finals
Beginning the season with a 19-1 crushing of the UP Fighting Maroons, it seemed as if the Green Batters were primed to defend their crown. The team did, however, hit its first speed bump after being upset by the AdU Soaring Falcons in their first round encounter. While they would come back to win their next game in thrilling fashion against the NU Bulldogs, the Lasallians just could not get into the same rhythm that brought them all the way to the championship last season.
La Salle closed its first round against last year’s runner-up, the ADMU Blue Eagles, as both teams looked to use the game as a measuring stick as to how good each team really was. Unfortunately for the Green Batters, it was ADMU that came out on top after dominating the prior, 13-6. With that loss, DLSU knew it had little margin for error as the second round approached.
After the Green-and-White started with a big win against contender AdU, both teams lost an equally significant game against the UST Growling Tigers, 11-6. With that loss, DLSU saw itself relying on uncontrollable factors to advance because of the advantage the Growling Tigers held in the win-loss column. Things worsened for La Salle after dropping a heartbreaker to NU, 5-3, that even further complicated the Green Batters’ hopes of making it back to the finals.
Entering the last two games against the Blue Eagles and Fighting Maroons, DLSU needed to win both games, as well as requiring UST to lose its respective two games against AdU and ADMU for the two teams to end up with identical records. Though the Green Batters did win their two remaining games, the Growling Tigers were able to defeat the Blue Eagles, hence setting up a finals series between the two schools.
La Salle, which relied on its consistency across all positions in last year’s championship run, was just unable to find the same success this year. Having to use multiple variations in his lineups, head coach Joseph Orillana struggled to find the perfect blend of players to field every single game. In the end, it was the inability of his players to get into a good rhythm that ultimately cost the team from Taft a chance of taking home back-to-back titles.
Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles and Growling Tigers, the top two teams in the league, are set to face-off in the finals. Both teams concluded the elimination round with a 7-3 record.
Lady Batters improve to fifth
The Lady Batters started their season with losses against the NU Lady Bulldogs and UE Lady Warriors, respectively, but would later respond with an 11-1 thrashing of the ADMU Lady Eagles. Another 3-1 defeat at the hands of the UST Golden Tigresses would continue to derail the hopes of the Lasallians, but they did not let up, immediately bouncing back with a 6-1 victory over UP. They would then close out the first round with a 9-1 loss against the defending champions, the AdU Lady Falcons, and a 2-4 win-loss standing good for fourth place.
The second round would be more promising for DLSU, picking up three wins against three losses, including a hard-fought 2-1 win against UE. But back-to-back losses to powerhouse teams in AdU and UST in their final assignments in the elimination round spelled a major setback for the Lady Batters.
With La Salle and UP level in the standings for fourth place with a 5-7 record, both teams faced off in a tiebreaker. Unfortunately for the Lasallians, despite winning sweeping the Lady Maroons in their elimination round series, the Lady Batters were unfortunately outclassed by the prior, 10-3, and ended their season in fifth place.
After winning their respective semifinal matchups, AdU and UST are set to square off in the finals for the softball title.
General Championship (GC) race
The Lady Batters improved by a notch from last year’s sixth place finish and clinched six GC points for La Salle as a result. Despite failing to defend their title, the Green Batters clinched 10 GC points which will also prove valuable for the Green-and-White.