Philippine Little League softball team hits ‘home run’ in US championship

August 7, 2018 - 6:41 PM
Tanauan Little League softball team beats Southwest Texas District 7-0 in the Senior League Softball World Series championship (Photo from the Senior League Softball World Series Facebook page)

The Tanauan-Philippines Little League softball team’s 7-0 victory over the Southwest Texas District 9 in the recent 2018 Senior League Softball World Series championship has established the country as a powerhouse in the sport and a rising threat in the world stage.

Surprise champions

This is the first time the Philippines found success in the Senior League tournament, having already triumphed in the Junior League series in 2003 and in the now-defunct Big League division in 2012.

According to Little League Philippines district administrator Jolly Gomez, the victory showed that the softball was the sport the Philippines should be investing in.

For fans of a sport that is rarely the talk of the town in the Philippines, the right amount of emotional and financial support could push the country to success in future competitions.

Representing the Asia-Pacific region, the team from Tanauan, Batangas shocked the crowd in Lower Sussex, Delaware thanks to Rovelyn Palma whose shutout pitching has not allowed a single run.

Footage of the Philippines’ crowning moment posted by former star baseball player Teddy Landicho went viral as congratulations from fans poured in.

Past success

The country’s women’s softball team was in fact a consistent performer at the big stages in international competitions, and has generally retained its prominence.

The “Blu Girls” have consistently dominated in the Southeast Asian Games, and finished an impressive fourth place in the 2014 Asian Games.

In 1970, the Blu Girls won the bronze medal in the Women’s Softball World Championship. They would go on to become a mainstay in the world rankings, never falling out of the top ten.

According to Roger Pe on an article on Business Mirror, the Blu Girls’ struggles started in the 90’s, before regaining steam in the next decade.

The Blu Girls finished second in the 11th Asian Women’s Softball Championship, their highest finish in that same tournament in 45 years.

The women’s team is currently ranked 15th in the world, while its men’s team is ranked 17th in the male category.