Asian Games: PH Blu Girls move to Super Round after beating Korea
MANILA, Philippines–Royevel Palma pitched a one-hit shutout while Cristy Joy Roa homered as the Philippine Blu Girls defeated South Korea, 5-0, on Thursday to gain a spot in the super round of the Hangzhou Asian Games women’s softball competitions.
Palma flirted at a perfect game before her bid was broken in the sixth inning while Roa broke the ice in the bottom half of the fourth inning with a leadoff homer to help the Blu Girls take control of the virtual knockout match for a place in the next round.
The Blu Girls tacked on four runs in the sixth before Palma finished off the South Koreans with seven strikeouts, thus securing second place in Group B with a 2-1 record.
Coach Ana Santiago’s squad will join host China in the super round, along with Japan and Chinese Taipei, two teams likely to emerge as the two best teams in Group A.
The super round starts Friday, with the Blu Girls only facing the Group A squads. The top two teams will meet for the gold while the bottom two are relegated in a bronze medal match.
The Philippines won less than 24 hours after absorbing a 7-0 loss to China that ended after four innings because of a mercy rule.
Palma retired the first nine batters she faced before Roa smacked a shot past the left field wall to put the Blu Girls ahead.
Stellar pitching by Palma continued, even when her quest for a perfect bid ended with a one-out single by Yuka Bae in the sixth.
But the Blu Girls offense made sure they give Palma additional run support as Elsie Dela Torre singled with two outs to score pinch runner Danica Aquino to double the lead.
Angelu Gabriel smashed a two-run double two batters later, stole third then scored on a single by Mary Joy Maguad.