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UP returns to UAAP softball finals after win versus UST

By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--UP had a huge six-run fifth inning to hack out an abbreviated 9-1 win over UST and force a championship duel with undefeated Adamson Sunday in the UAAP Season 77 softball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.         

Isabelle Mendoza hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to give the Lady Maroons a big cushion and held off the Tigresses in their last at-bat to clinch the remaining slot in the Finals.     

The opener is scheduled at 9 a.m. Tuesday, with the Lady Falcons holding a thrice-to-beat incentive after sweeping the 12-game eliminations.       

"UP is already a winner. We want to clinch a Finals slot with Adamson and we met our objective," said long-time coach Kiko Diaz.       

The Lady Maroons have assured of their best finish in the sport since the 2010-11 season, where they placed second to the Lady Falcons, who won the first of four consecutive championships.        

UP, which last ruled in 2008 with a powerhouse roster led by Alex Zuluaga, broke a 1-1 standoff in the fourth after Chantel Bongat scored a RBI to send DC and Dennise Cruz home.        

UST's lone run came from Christine Palma in the second inning to the the lead.

The Tigresses, who finished third, failed to follow up last Friday's 7-2 victory over the Lady Maroons which forced the semifinals decider. UST nipped NU, 4-3, in the first step-ladder match.