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Sports

Manila softbelles kick off WS bid, beat Californians

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Asia-Pacific titlist Manila South got its campaign in the Big League Softball World Series off to a blazing start as it dumped USA West’s California District 51, 8-2, Monday at Bruce Layton Field in Sussex County, Delaware.

Maria Celestine Palma whacked a solo home run to spark a furious offensive while Mary Ann Antolihao put up a solid no-relief outing at the mound as Manila hurdled its opening assignment in Pool A.

Palma went two-for-two overall with one RBI and two runs for the Manila batters, who peppered California pitchers McKenzie Draper and Briana Garnett with a combined 11 hits converted into eight runs.

Antolihao struck out eight of the batters she faced and conceded five hits to pick up the win.

Palma blasted Draper’s 1-0 pitch to the left field fence to open the floodgates of scoring for the Filipinas in the second inning. Delyrose Covarubias doubled the lead not long after, launching a sacrifice fly to send Riflayen Basa home.

Manila widened the gap with a four-run binge in the fourth frame. 

Cristy Joy Roa and Palma pounced on a costly error by third baseman Sara Jones to score one after the other, then Shaira Damasing plated Mary Nicole Posadas with a single and Covarubias reached home on a throw to make it 6-0.

Elyssa Bramer hit a two-run single against Antolihao in the fifth but that turned out to be the Californians’ last hurrah as the Aspac champs shut them out in the last two innings.

Florabelle Pabiana added two runs to the winning margin when she drove in Covarubias and Damasing with a double to center in the sixth.

Manila, bannered by top aces from Adamson U, Santo Tomas, National U and University of the East, is seeking to regain the world crown it won in 2012.

ADAMSON U

ANTOLIHAO

BIG LEAGUE SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES

BRUCE LAYTON FIELD

CALIFORNIA DISTRICT

COVARUBIAS AND DAMASING

CRISTY JOY ROA AND PALMA

DELYROSE COVARUBIAS

DRAPER AND BRIANA GARNETT

ELYSSA BRAMER

FLORABELLE PABIANA

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