Iwata Clutch...Again

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) —The No. 18/19 University of Hawai`i softball team's Jessica Iwata came through in the clutch again with her second game-winning RBI in three days to lift the 'Bows to a dramatic 2-1 win over Winthrop. Kelly Majam tied the UH career home run record and Stephanie Ricketts earned her 14th complete game victory on the final day of the Chevron Spring Fling Tournament at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Majam's second-pitch blast to the right-center alley marked the 10th time in her career and second time this season that she's led UH off with a home run. It was her 44th career home run, which ties her with former UH All-American Kate Robinson for the UH all-time record that was set in 2008. Majam's fifth roundtripper of the season gave the 'Bows an early 1-0 lead. UH tried to build on that in the first inning, as they loaded the bases in the first inning. But with two outs Winthrop's Natalie Becker was able to get out of the jam with a strike out to thwart the rally.

Ricketts (14-2) gave a solid effort, firing 7.0 innings. She spaced six hits with a walk and eight strike outs in the win. Ricketts threw 24-straight innings for the 'Bows in three straight starts for UH to end the tournament.
The Lady Eagles knotted the score at 1-1 in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by McKenzi Corn that drove in Megan Chapman, who had earlier doubled to the leftfield wall.
In the bottom of the third, UH started a two-out rally, stringing three hits together. Iwata and Aguirre both reached on base hits and Sharla Kliebenstein followed with a single to left. On the play, Iwata came flying around third, but a nice throw from the leftfielder to the catcher cut down Iwata at the plate for the third out.
The score remained deadlocked at 1-1 through six innings with Ricketts stifling the Lady Eagles, retiring the last 13 of 15 batters. Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Dara Pagaduan and Majam led the inning off with walks. Winthrop then lifted their starter for  reliever Chelsey Shoenfeldt. Shoenfeldt got one strike on Kayla Wartner but on her second pitch, she was called for an illegal pitch which moved both runners into scoring position. Winthrop then re-entered their starter, Becker, who intentionally walked Wartner with first base now open. Becker then got a strike out for the first out before Iwata came through with the sacrifice fly that was just deep enough to centerfield to allow Pagaduan to slide home safely in front of the tag for the walk-off win. It was the second time in three days that Iwata was responsible for the game winning RBI. On Thursday night, she came through with a walk-off two-run home run to stun No. 1/2 California, 3-1 in the 10th inning.
Three teams tied for first in the Chevron tourney with a record of 4-1. The champion was determined by least runs scored against--California gave up only seven; Texas A&M gave up eight and Texas gave up 11. Hawai`i finished at 3-0; Marist 1-4; and Winthrop 0-6.

UH concluded their non-conference tournament portion of their schedule and will begin their final Western Athletic Conference season with a three-game series against San Jose State this Friday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m. with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 24 starting at 2:00 p.m.