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COUGARS SIEGE 5TH INNING TO BEAT SHARKS

The Academy Cougars and Sanchez Sharks battled close for the first four innings, but a huge 5th inning by the Cougars allowed their bench to close out the 6th inning in their win over the Sharks via 10-run rule at the GW field Wednesday evening in IIAAG girls softball action.

By Robert Balajadia

The Academy Cougars and Sanchez Sharks battled close for the first four innings, but a huge 5th inning by the Cougars allowed their bench to close out the 6th inning in their 16-5 win over the Sharks via 10-run rule at the GW field Wednesday evening in IIAAG girls softball action.

Academy rallied behind an in-the-park home run by Jasmine Balajadia in the 4th inning to take a 7-5 lead before taking complete control in the 5th. Balajadia’s home run sparked the teams offense that got off to a mild start.

“I didn’t expect it to go out that far! My first couple of at-bats popped up and got out both times so I just needed to keep my head up,” admitted Balajadia on the big play.

Academy Cougars Jasmine Balajadia rounds the bases in her in-the-park home-run against the Sanchez Sharks. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Academy Cougars Jasmine Balajadia rounds the bases during her in-the-park home-run against the Sanchez Sharks. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

As much offense as the Cougars brought, the Sharks also played a messy 5th inning allowing errors to score four of the six runs by Academy. An errant throw to center field allowed the Cougars go up 8-5, then two more errors ensued from the catcher to first base followed by an errant throw back to home allowing Academy to jump out to a 10-5 lead.

A bunt by the Cougars turned disastrous for the Sharks as the throw to first was well off allowing another run to score to go up 11-5.

Cougars relief pitcher Meagan Maratita then brought in the Cougars 12th run, and another Academy RBI courtesy of Juliana brought in Maratita to blow the game open at 13-5.

Maratita was also instrumental in closing out the 4th and 5th innings at the mound with the bases loaded in both circumstances to plug the Sharks offense. Though the pressure was on, Maratita rose to the occasion.

“I had my team to back me up and I trust them no matter what happens, even if we happen to make a mistake,” said Maratita on her clutch defensive pitching.

Cougars relief pitcher Meagan Maratita had three strikeouts in the top of the 6th inning. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars relief pitcher Meagan Maratita had three strikeouts in the top of the 6th inning. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Cougars then turned to their bench in the bottom of the 6th inning with their their sizable lead, but their subs delivered by winning them the game going 4-4 in the batter box.

“It’s heartwarming because we work so hard at practice and I know [the bench] is very capable of this,” said Balajadia on the bench play.

“Since we’re on the field, they’re the ones who help us stay focused and positive, but when they get on base we get pretty loud and excited!” added Maratita.

Balajadia didn’t have the only in-the-park homer as teammate Doriane Calvo scored the first three runs for the Cougars with her 2nd inning slam. The ball sailed past left field and Calvo never stopped sprinting after getting the go ahead from her sideline coaches, eventually hitting home before the ball could get infield.

Sanchez Sharks Krystal San Nicolas dodges a high pitch. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sanchez Sharks Krystal San Nicolas dodges a high pitch. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Errors by the Cougars allowed the Sharks to get within 3-2 in the top of the 3rd inning, but a mid-air snag by Kiersten Pangelinan saved Balajadia at the mound with runners in scoring position.

Balajadia let two runs score on walks, with Sharks Lylac Urbino and Krystal San Nicolas also finding hits to add to the 4th inning comeback. Balajdia was relieved after the fourth run scored to make the score 5-4, and Maratita allowed a walk to tie the game before closing out the contest.

The Cougars improve to 2-0 on the season while the Sharks drop to 0-2.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Cougars Dorian Calvo sprints home for the Cougars first in-the-park homer-run, which were also the first three runs for Academy. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Dorian Calvo sprints home for the Cougars first in-the-park homer-run, which were also the first three runs for Academy. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Kirsten Pangelinan stays alive with a hit and a cull-count. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Cougars Kiersten Pangelinan stays alive with a hit and a cull-count. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sharks starting pitcher Zhanissa Mendiola trying to rally her team during a late inning timeout. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sharks starting pitcher Zhanissa Mendiola trying to rally her team during a late inning timeout. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

Sanchez Sharks relief pitcher Mikala E. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Academy Cougars Jasmine Tereas gets the go-ahead from the coach to head on home. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Academy Cougars Jasmine Tereas gets the go-ahead from the coach to head on home. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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