Hawaii defeats Missouri to advance in College World Series - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii defeats Missouri to advance in College World Series

Alex Aguirre Alex Aguirre
Tracy Yoshikawa Tracy Yoshikawa
Bob Coolen Bob Coolen
Stephanie Ricketts Stephanie Ricketts
JIm Donovan JIm Donovan

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

OKLAHOMA CITY (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Wahine have won another exciting game with a dramatic last-inning home run. It was the second homer of the game for UH, the first home run came in the second inning off the bat of Hawaii left fielder Alex Aguirre.

"I usually stay in the back of the box, to see the ball longer, but I know that the outside is one of my power pitches to hit, so I scooted up a little bit… as soon as I saw it I just threw my hands at it. Seeing it go over the fence is a feeling like, it's a big feeling of relief and it's like OK, were here, were making a statement and this is what we are here to do" said Aguirre.

That statement by Aguirre would be the last from the Wahine until the final inning of the game. And while Hawaii's bats were temporarily quiet, Missouri took command.

The Tigers first tied the game 1-1 in the first inning, and they went ahead 2-1 in the fifth. Center fielder Rhea Taylor hit a solo shot just over the outfield fence. UH pitcher Stephanie Ricketts limited Missouri to just six hits. Her performance in the pitching circle kept it close and helped set the stage for the dramatic seventh inning comeback.

Catcher Katie Grimes led off the inning with a sharply hit single to the gap in left. Then Tracy Yoshikawa, the ninth batter in Hawaii's order, rocked a two-run jack over the fence in left center, giving UH the 3-2 lead.

"She was going outside all day, so I just had to make an adjustment and just threw my hands outside to the ball. As soon as I hit it, I knew it was over" said Yoshikawa.

"Exciting first game for us, I bet a lot of people in the stands thought we were going to bunt over that runner, but that's not our MO this year. We are a hitting team" said coach Bob Coolen.

"There was no doubt that we were going to come back. We come back all the time, and as you can see, one through nine, there's always a chance of the ball flying out" said Ricketts.

"It was great. Let me tell you. You have got to love these women. They never give up. It is one of life's great secrets. Just never, ever give up and they don't. They're always in the game. Two strikes, two outs, bottom of the seventh they are still there and you gotta love it. Alabama and now Missouri" said University of Hawaii athletics director Jim Donovan.

Up next for the Wahine, a winner's bracket showdown with UCLA Friday at 1:00 PM Hawaii time. The game will be televised on ESPN.

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