Blu Girls settle for 7th place in World Cup

MANILA — The Philippine Blu Girls gallantly fought back from 2-6 down in the fifth inning and upended No. 10 Mexico for the second straight, scoring an 8-7 decision in eight innings to clinch seventh place in the World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma Sunday.

In a cable report by Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL), Francesca Altomonte, who anchored the Philippines’ 4-2 conquest of the Mexicans in the group stage Saturday, delivered again, earning a walk-off single that gave the 17th-ranked Filipinas back-to-back wins over the Mexico and a strong finish to their campaign in the eight-team meet.

Mexico wound up last in the tourney ruled by world’s no. 1 Japan, which edged the US, 2-1, in the title match.

“I’m so happy with the progress of the team. With every tournament, it’s evident that they’re getting better,” said Asaphil president Jean Henri Lhuillier.

The Cebuana Lhuillier chief also expressed confidence of the Blu Girls strong performance in the upcoming World Championships in Canada.

Against the Mexicans, the Blu Girls had to fight back into the game twice.

The Mexicans opened a 6-2 after five innings but the Blu Girls struck back with a pair of two-run home runs in the bottom sixth, courtesy of Arianne Vallestero and Altomonte, to bring the match back to push the match into extra innings.

After a scoreless seventh frame, Mexico surged ahead on a Tiffany Lane-Rojas sacrifice fly that sent in Irene Rivera for a one-run cushion.

But Altomonte hit a single in the bottom eighth and drove in Reese Gueverra and Vallestero for the marginal runs.

The other members of the team were Gabrielle Maurice, Dani Gilmore, Chelsea Suitos, Sierra Lange, Garie Blando, Hailey Decker, Skylynne Ellazar, Kailey Cuico, Riflayca Basa, Angeli Ursabia, Mary Luisse Garde, Cristy Roa, Dione Macasu, Ma. Celestine Palma, Lorna Adorable, Shaira Damasing, Mia Macapagal, Riezel Calumbres, Lovely Arago and Lyca Basa. PPA/