HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The UH softball team (13-4) is off to a hot start to begin the 2019 season.
Senior third baseman Nicole Lopez, has shouldered much of the offense load this season.
The Aiea native has hit six home-runs this season tying her for the team lead, she also leads the team in total hits and RBI’s.
The sound of ball to bat reverberates off the wall at the Wahine softball stadium, even Lopez herself is satisfied with her performance to kick-off the season.
“Really happy with how its been," said Lopez. "I knew I needed to get everything together and just work on my basic mechanics and just do my thing.”
Wahine softball head coach Bob Coolen has seen Lopez’s maturation as a hitter and believes this is the highest level she’s played at the University.
“Nicole has really settled in for her senior year," said Coolen. “She’s seeing the ball no matter where they’re throwing it, shes hitting opposite field home runs, and shes doing a nice job of making adjustments at the plate.”
The Mid Pacific graduate, has at times served as a catalyst for her teammates to get going.
UH started the season with seven different players batting .400 or better from the plate in the first nine games, a first for the program.
Coolen believes that Lopez’s recent success has had a calming affect on her teammates when they go to bat.
“Moving her to number 2 has really done a nice job for us,” said Coolen. “In regards to the contagious hitting we get one runner on, she usually brings them in and that’s been a bonus for us.
Lopez has also noticed the impact, winning has had on the mentality surrounding the program.
“In previous years we kind of went through the motions,” said Lopez. “It was game after game, like we weren’t excited to be on the field, this year we actually have that ‘quest for big west’ and that desire to be there in the end.”
The Wahine Softball team will play games throughout this weekend from March 7-10 as the Wahine conclude the Outrigger Resorts Hawaii Spring Fling Tournament.