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Team Manila makes history

HEMET, California – Team Manila made history yesterday by sending defending champion Central Hemet Xplozion down to its knees with a masterful 7-1 win to capture the 2017 PONY International 18-U Girls Softball World Series crown at the packed Diamond Valley Park here.

The impressive title run enabled PH softbelles to become the first team from Asia to win the prestigious tournament.

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And again, it was hurler Alma Tauli who made the great story possible.

The 16-year old native of Norzagaray, Bulacan was too clever and too classy she struck out five batters she faced in six scoreless innings.

Offensively, she got huge help from Khrisha Cantor whose double enabled center fielder Christine Bautista and designated hitter Shaina Camacho to score right in the first inning.

Backed by Manila Mayor Erap Estrada, Team Manila took a 3-0 lead in the next frame after short stop Nichole Padasas belted a homerun – her second in the tournament.

It was like picnic from there on for Team Manila as Bautista drilled another homer before Cantor produced a three-run triple in the fourth that all but broke the back of the defending champions.

The deposed champions prevented what could be an embarrassing shutout loss with a homerun in the lower fourth frame.

But their celebration was cut short by Tauli who fanned the next two batters, leaving their supporters in utter disappointment.

Team Manila coach Ana Santiago credited the team’s composure, especially by Tauli, for the win.

Manila Softball president Rafael “Che” Borromeo also thanked Filipino community in South California for their support.

It was the country’s second title in the event having won the 2012 Big League 18-U World Series.