Davao hurler wows 'em in Batang Pinoy Mindanao Games-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte -- The Davao City girls softball team is creating waves in the Mindanao qualifying leg of the Batang Pinoy Games and making heads turn is no other than its pitcher whose sweet smile can easily touch one's heart.
But, beware. Behind that angelic face is a fierce competitor, a wrecking machine on the mound who blows away opponents with her sizzling fastballs.
There was no speedometer to check the speed of her fastballs, but Irene Lumanas is a power hurler who relies on the velocity of her pitches. Fastball after fastball after fastball, she has dominated batters -- and even scared some of them -- to push Davao City within two victories of nailing the gold medal and earning a slot to the Batang Pinoy national finals in Zamboanga City this November.
"I've never seen anything like that. For a high school to throw the ball like that is something special," says one technical official in Filipino. "She's playing at a very high level."
Lumanas is only on her eighth grade, but she hurls the baseball like a college student. With her at the mound, Davao City, represented by the Crossing Bayabas National High School, had been overpowering other teams on the to a perfect 4-0 record and on top of the standings after the elimination phase.
After four games, Lumanas, just 13, recorded 34 strikeouts while giving up only two runs. Offensively, the team scored a total of 38 runs, with Lumanas herself delivering some of those runs as she is also a power hitter.
Davao first crushed Tacurong, 14-0, before dismantling South Cotabato, 8-0. Both teams actually conceded defeat in those two games highlighted by a couple of home runs from Lunanas, including a three-run homer.
The team's real rest came in the match against General Santos City Thursday morning as Davao fell behind early but scored two runs in the bottom of the final frame to hack out a 3-2 victory. Against Davao del Norte in the afternoon, the five-foot-four Lumanas was again at her best as Davao City fashioned out a lopsided 13-0 win that stunned the hometown crowd.
The team's coach Willie Bayocboc said the girls had been together since elementary and played in numerous competitions. In 2011 Palarong Pambansa in Pangasinan, the team won the bronze medal in the elementary division.
Bayocboc said that Crossing Bayabas National High School is this year's defending champion in the Kadayawan Open Softball Tournament and had beaten University of Mindanao (UM) College Tagum in its first assignment.
The high school team won the crown last year at the expense of a tougher foe in UM-Davao College of coach Joaquin "Boy" Sarabia via a stunning 6-0 victory in the finals. (Charles Raymond A. Maxey/DSA)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 31, 2013.