HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- The No. 14/19 University of Hawai`i softball team (35-4, 9-2 WAC) completed its series sweep over Louisiana Tech (18-23, 5-6 WAC) with a pair of decisive wins, 9-1 and 8-1 both in five innings on Saturday afternoon at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Stephanie Ricketts and Kaia Parnaby both earned complete game wins while Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu went 5-for-5 on the day with a double, a home run and six RBI to lead UH.
No. 14/19 Hawai`i 9, Louisiana Tech 1 (5 innings)
The Lady Techsters got off to a fast start, posting one run in the top of the first. After striking out the leadoff batter, Amanda Krueger drew a walk. She moved to second on a failed fielder's choice attempt leaving both runners safe at first and second. Melanie Goff then laced a single to center to load the bases. Erin Kipp drew an RBI-walk to bring home Krueger for the early 1-0 lead.
But the 'Bows responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Majam tied the score on her second straight, opposite field, lead-off home run in as many games. It was her 50th career homer and third in two games. It was Majam's team-leading 11th homer of the season. Kayla Wartner followed with a walk and Sarah Robinson was plunked before Jessica Iwata walked to load the bases. LA Tech starter, Michelle Jones then got a pair of pop-ups caught by the second baseman before Dara Pagaduan got an RBI on a walk to score Wartner from third. Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu then chopped a single over the pitcher into centerfield to score both Robinson and Iwata to spot UH a 4-1 lead after one inning.
Louisiana Tech loaded the bases again in the second inning on a single, a double and a walk with two outs. But Ricketts escaped unscathed getting the third out on a fly to center.
UH scored one run in the bottom of the second with a bases loaded situation of their own. Majam led off with a looping single to right. After a strike out, two walks loaded the bases for Aguirre who grounded out to second, but pushed Majam across for the 5-1 lead. After the first three innings, both teams had stranded six runners apiece.
The 'Bows then added three runs in the fourth. Robinson led off with a single to left and Iwata followed with her third walk of the day. After a fly out to right, Leisha Li`ili`i walked to load the bases. Pagaduan drove in Robinson with a ground out to first and Duhalonsod-Kaleimamahu hit a single over the centerfielder to the fence to score both Iwata and Li`ili`i. For Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu, she had four RBI on the day, tying her career high.
Then in the seventh inning, UH ended the game via the eight-run mercy rule. Majam led off by getting plunked and moved to second on a single up the middle by Wartner. After a flyout to centerfield, Iwata walked for her career-high fourth time in the game. Aguirre then came through with a single up the middle to drive in Majam for the 9-1 win in five innings.
Ricketts (22-2, 7-0 WAC) earned the win with her 26th complete game of the year. She threw 5.0 innings, scattering four hits with four walks and five strike outs.
Louisiana Tech starter Michelle Jones also threw a complete game, giving up nine runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings. She had eight walks and two strike outs.
Hawai`i 8, Louisiana Tech 0 (5 innings)
The Rainbow Wahine completed the series sweep with its third mercy-rule win over the Lady Techsters, 8-0 powered by a trio of home runs by Robinson, Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu and Iwata.
Parnaby fired a one-hit shutout to earn the victory that raised her record to 13-2 overall and evened her WAC mark at 2-2. She fired five complete innings, allowing the one hit with three walks and seven strike outs. It marked Parnaby's seventh shutout this year and 13th complete game of the season.
Louisiana Tech though started the first inning by loading the bases on a lead off single and two walks after two outs. But Parnaby settled down to strike out the sixth batter for the third out.
Robinson gave UH a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a solo home run over the leftfield fence. It was her sixth roundtripper of the season and eighth of her career and the third time in the series that UH scored in the first frame with a home run.
Hawai`i then erupted for five unearned runs in the third by capitalizing on two critical errors. Robinson got her second hit of the game with a single to left-centerfield. After a fly out to right, Aguirre raced to first on a bunt single that moved Robinson to second. Li`ili`i then hit a grounder to short, but the throw was in the dirt and skipped past the first baseman allowing Robinson to score from second. Pagaduan followed with another grounder to short that bounced threw her legs for her second error of the inning, this one allowed two runs—Aguirre and Li`ili`i--to score. Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu then capped the inning off with a monstrous home run to leftfield that was sent high over the outfield netting and bounding into the tennis courts. The two-run bomb was her sixth of the season and her 15th of her career. The 'Bows led 6-0 heading into the fourth inning.
In the fourth, the 'Bows added two more runs on a home run by Iwata to straightaway centerfield. It was a two-run blast that drove in Robinson who had walked earlier in the inning. For Iwata, it was her eighth of the season and 41st of her career.
LA Tech starter Erin Kipp fell to 5-6 on the year and 1-2 in conference action throwing the first three innings. She gave up six runs on eight hits with a walk and two strike outs. Jones, the reliever, finished the game throwing one inning yielding two runs on one hit with two walks.
The Rainbow Wahine offense hit a combined .426 for the series against the Lady Techsters. Six players hit over the .300 mark in the three-games, led by Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu who hit a staggering .875 (7-for-8) with a double, two homers, and eight RBI. She had a slugging . Majam and Iwata both hit .500. Majam was 5-for-10 with four runs and three home runs. Iwata was 3-for-6 with four runs, a home run and five walks—all coming in today's two games.
Hawai`i now goes back on the road for a three-game series at Nevada (15-28, 6-6 WAC) this coming week. The two teams square off in a single game on Friday at 3:00 p.m. with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 3:00 p.m. in Reno, Nev.