The RP Blu Girls have made the country proud once again after clinching a spot in the upcoming 2024 Women’s Softball World Cup.
The team secured their ticket to the World Cup after entering the Top Four of the Asia Cup in Incheon, South Korea on Thursday.
This marks the Philippines’ eighth appearance in the Women’s Softball World Cup and their first since 2018.
The team did not make it to the last edition of the tournament in 2022, making this recent qualification all the more special.
The Blu Girls dominated India in their final match of the tournament, winning 10-0 in just four innings at the LNG Stadium. With this win, the Blu Girls secured a 5-2 record, cementing their position in the Top Four.
“We are proud to have you represent our country, and we can’t wait to see what else you will achieve in the future,” said Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines President Jean Henri Lhuillier.
The Blu Girls had a strong showing throughout the tournament, winning four out of their first six matches.
Their final match against India was a true display of their skill and teamwork, with University of Santo Tomas products Charlotte Sales and Celyn Ojare leading the charge.
Sales, who was instrumental in the team’s win against India, hit two ground-rule doubles to help secure the team’s lead. Ojare, on the other hand, delivered a crucial inside-the-park home run in the right field to bring the score to 5-0.
The Blu Girls continued their scoring spree in the third inning, with Sales once again hitting a double to right-center field to give the team a 7-0 advantage. In the fourth inning, MJ Maguad, Arianne Vallestero, and Khrisha Cantor also scored runs to further cement the team’s win.
Glory Alonzo and Kikay Palma played an outstanding game as well, pitching no-hitters in the two innings they played. The Blu Girls also peppered India with 12 hits throughout the game.
Team captain and starting pitcher Ann Antolihao shared that their coaches recognized the need for more foreign exposure to enhance their skills.
The team is determined to compete against powerhouses like Japan, Canada, Venezuela, New Zealand, and host Italy.
“That’s why we need more foreign exposure. Our coaches know that’s what is lacking,” Antolihao said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The Blu Girls finished the Asia Cup with a 5-3 record, including wins against Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, India, and host South Korea.
The team captain expressed her joy in qualifying for the World Cup, saying, “We’re happy that we returned to the World Cup.”
Joining Antolihao in the all-homegrown roster are pitcher CJ Roa and catcher Celine Ojare.
The team is composed of standouts from various regions, including Bacolod, Bukidnon, Batanes, and Makati City. Both Roa and Ojare echoed the team captain’s sentiments, emphasizing the need for overseas tune-ups to further hone their skills.
Antolihao, however, said that the coaches have not finalized the World Cup lineup yet, and the decision may come when the team resumes training on April 24.
The Blu Girls are determined to represent their country well and aim to improve their craft as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup.
The Blu Girls’ qualification for the Women’s Softball World Cup is a testament to their dedication and hard work.
The team has shown that they have what it takes to compete with the best softball teams in the world, and their upcoming appearance in the World Cup is sure to be a thrilling event for Filipino sports fans.