A national team composed mainly of girls from Adamson University defied the odds stacked against them and made it all the way to the finals of the premiere softball competition in the world.
The Asia-Pacific team made it to the finals of the 2010 Big League Softball World Series (16-18 division) held in Kalamazoo, Michigan from August 4 to 11. The championship game was aired live on American cable channel ESPN2.
The team, representing the City of Manila, was in danger of making an early exit after they lost their first two games due to jet lag. The team was able to get their bearings on the third day and swept their next four games. Their 6-2 win-loss card pitched them against District 9 Michigan, the top team with a 7-1 standing, for the championship.
The team was unaccustomed to the bright lights of the stadium as they played on the night of August 11 (all their round-robin games were during daytime) and battled girls who were absolute power hitters and were bigger and taller than them. While they put on their best and played out with valiant efforts, they eventually succumbed to the Americans, 14-4. It would have been their chance to avenge their loss to Michigan in the 2008 championship, but it was not meant to be.
While the loss in the final is particularly painful, the RP girls can rightfully claim that they did their best. Melanie Macatangay, one of the Adamsonians in the team, is also proud because they stared down opponents much larger and perhaps more powerful than they are. “Kahit maliit kami, kaya namin sila,” she says.
Aside from Macatangay, the other Adamsonians in the team were Erica Escanuela, Cindy Carol Banay, Nerissa Benjamen, Yrrla Jean Rojo, Elvie Entrina, Julie Marie Muyco, Rizza Bernardino, and Annalie Benjamen. They were joined by Marlyn Francisco from the University of the East, Veronica Belleza from Rizal Technological University, Margareth Marris Garde from the University of the Philippines, Amanda Anella Lao from Ateneo de Manila University, and Isabel Regina Gomez from International School Manila.
Coach Ana Santiago, coach of the Adamson softball and the Philippine national teams, assembled the current team. Their head coach is Boy Codiñera.
After their whirlwind stint overseas, the Adamsonian softbelles are now preparing for upcoming competitions in the UAAP next semester and the Unigames. The girls will also don the country’s colors for the Asian Games happening this November in Guangzhou, China. Yael Esperat