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Blu Girls score back-to-back wins in Asian softball tilt

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The RP Blu Girls took back-to-back victories to boost their chances for a semifinal spot in the 11th Asian Women's Softball Championship in Taichung City, Taiwan.

Despite an opening day loss to Japan, the Filipina softbelles bounced back with a flurry after zapping Hong Kong, 18-0.

The Blu Girls were actually prevented from inflicting more damage on Hong Kong as they scored all of their 18 runs within the first three innings, forcing the match organizing team to implement the mercy rule, in which the game will be stopped if one team scores 15 or more after the third inning.

Arianne Vallestero went 3-for-3 at bat, scoring one homerun in the process, while Mary Ann Antolihao and Royevel Palma combined for seven strikeouts.

Afterward, the Blu Girls came from behind to trounce South Korea, 6-4.

Vallestero, Dani Gilmore, Hailey Decker, Kailee Cuico, Reese Guevarra, Chelsea Suito, Garie Blando, and Angelie Ursabia combined for 10 hits, but none were bigger than the crucial hits that sparked the comeback.

"The girls showed great determination and strong character in bouncing back from a tough loss against Japan. They're really showing how prepared they are and how they really want to win in this tournament. This augurs well for our bid to qualify in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) president Jean Henri Lhuillier.

The Blu Girls are set to face Thailand next with a win catapulting them to the semifinals of the tournament that serves as a qualifier to the Asian Games and the World Softball Championship.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno