Rainbow Wahine Extend Win Streak Behind Iwata & Ricketts - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rainbow Wahine Extend Win Streak Behind Iwata & Ricketts

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)—The 22nd ranked University of Hawai`i softball team (13-0) rallied for seven runs in the sixth inning to pull away from Radford, 11-3 by the eight-run mercy rule. Senior pitcher Stephanie Ricketts earned the win and tied the UH career record for victories at 82. Junior shortstop Jessica Iwata launched a walk-off grand slam to end the game.
 
The win tied her with former UH great Kelly Gentle who set the career mark at 82 after a four year career ending in 1999. Ricketts (8-0) got roughed up a little early in the game, giving up a solo home run to Radford's lead off hitter Nichole Beall in the first. Later she was tagged with a two-run homer again by Beall in the third inning. But Ricketts settled down, retiring the last seven batters in a row when the game ended in the sixth. Ricketts gave up three runs on four hits with a walk and seven strike outs. She earned her eighth complete game victory in as many starts. 
 
The 'Bows answered right back in the bottom of the first, posting a run of their own to knot the score at 1-1. Kelly Majam was hit by a pitch and later came home on an RBI double ripped down the third baseline by Jessica Iwata.
 
Hawai`i responded again in the bottom of the third to cut their deficit to 3-2. Majam started the inning with a double hit over the rightfielder to the fence. Majam moved to third and scored her second run of the game on a pair of wild pitches.
 
The 'Bows then tied the game again at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out rally. After a strike out and a fly out, Kayla Wartner started things with an opposite-field single to left-centerfield. Sarah Robinson then drilled a double into the leftfield corner that drove in pinch runner Jazmine Zamora all the way from first base.
 
But in the bottom of the sixth the UH bats came alive. After a walk to Sharla Kliebenstein, the Highlanders lifted starter Micalah Sacre for reliever Emily Norton. Norton then walked her first batter, Leisha Li`ili`i. Both runners then advanced into scoring position on an illegal pitch. Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu then struck out swinging, but a passed ball by the catcher allowed Kliebenstein to score and Li`ili`i came around to score as well after the catcher's errant throw back to the pitcher covering home bounced to the beginning edge of rightfield. Pinch runner Tara Anguiano moved to second on another illegal pitch and then Dara Pagaduan laced a single down the third base line that hit the bag and bounced straight up for no play. Majam then singled to right-centerfield to load the bases. Wartner followed with an opposite-field  double to left that scored both Anguiano and Pagaduan. Sarah Robinson then struck out swinging, but reached first safely on another passed ball by the Radford catcher loading the bases again for Iwata. Iwata then launched a bomb over high over the leftfield fence for the walk off grand slam. It was her second home run of the season and it marked her 35th home run of her career which moves her into a tie with former UH slugger Amanda Tauali`i for fourth in the UH career home run record book. It was her fourth career grand slam.
 
Hawai`i returned to the field today after a 12-day respite following their 6-0 performance in UNLV's Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.

The win extended UH's 13-game win streak--its best start in school history. The victory matched UH's second longest win streak (13) in school history that was set in 1994. 
 
The Bank of Hawaii Invitational continues tomorrow with UH playing a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara (6-12) and undefeated No. 20 Florida State starting at 3:00 p.m.

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