Rainbow Wahine Softball Team Clinches WAC Title - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rainbow Wahine Softball Team Clinches WAC Title

LOGAN, Utah—(Hawaii Athletics) The No. 12/14 University of Hawai‘i softball team (43-5, 17-3 WAC) captured the 2012 Western Athletic Conference regular season crown with an emphatic, 18-0 win over Utah State (17-36, 4-17 WAC) in five innings and then completed the series sweep with a 10-3 win in today's doubleheader at Johnson Field in Logan, Utah. Kaia Parnaby fired a two-hit shutout in the first game of the day while Stephanie Ricketts recorded her 800th career strike out while earning the complete game win in the regular season's finale.

Game 2: Hawai‘i 18, Utah State 0 (5 innings)
The Rainbow Wahine clinched the regular season WAC title by overpowering the Aggies 18-0 in the doubleheader opener. Parnaby gave up just one single in the third and another in the fifth in her 16th complete game of the season. It also marked her ninth shutout of her junior season. She did not give up a walk while fanning two. Parnaby has now run her streak of scoreless innings to 20.2 innings.
After a scoreless first inning, the ‘Bows batted around the order and erupted for 11 runs in the top of the second on a combination of 10 hits (four doubles and six singles), two walks and a fielder's choice and error mixed in. Leisha Li‘ili‘i started things off with a walk and Dara Pagaduan followed with a double to left to put both runners into scoring position. Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu then drilled a single back through the middle to drive in both pinch-runner Jazmine Zamora and Pagaduan for UH's first two runs. Sharla Kliebenstein—who returned to the starting line-up for the first time in 17 games since suffering an injury—walked to put runners at first and second. Kelly Majam then drove in pinch-runner Lauren Parnaby and Kayla Wartner followed with an opposite-field double to left to drive in both Majam and Kliebenstein. Robinson … Utah State then lifted starting pitcher Dani Chaplin for Shelbi Tyteca, but Jessica Iwata kept things going with a double to right that scored Robinson. An error on the second baseman allowed Alexandra Aguirre to put runners at first and second and Li‘ili‘i looped a single into center to load the bases. Pagaduan scored Iwata from third on a fielder's choice that resulted in runners at the corners. Pagaduan promptly stole second base to put both runners into scoring position for Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu who came through with her second 2-RBI single of the inning. Kliebenstein singled up the middle and Majam hit her second double of the inning to score Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu for UH's 11th and final run of the inning.
In the third inning, USU's Mariah Peterson came into pitch. Hawai‘i added one more run in the third on an RBI single through the leftside of the infield by Li‘ili‘i that drove in Aguirre from second. UH led 12-0 after three innings.
Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu reached on an error on the second baseman and Kliebenstein then launched a two-run home run. It was Kliebenstein's seventh home run of the season. Majam then got her third double of the game and pinch-hitter Jocelyn Enrique then drove in pinch-runner Jordan Burton with an RBI single up the middle. Robinson walked which forced the Aggies to lift Peterson and re-enter starting pitcher Chaplin. Iwata greeted her with a three-run bomb over the left-centerfield fence to give UH a 18-0 lead. Iwata now leads UH with 12 home runs this season and moved past Kate Robinson for second all-time in UH history with 45 home runs.
The Aggies used three pitchers in the loss. Chaplin started and finished the game throwing a total of 3.1 innings. She gave up eight runs on eight hits with three walks and four strike outs. Tyteca threw 0.2 of an inning, allowing four runs on five hits and Peterson threw one-plus innings, giving up six runs on four hits with two walks and two strike outs.
Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu and Iwata led UH at the plate, both going 2-for-4 with four RBI with Iwata with a home run. Majam was a perfect 4-for-4 with three doubles and two RBI; Li‘ili‘i went 3-for-3 with an RBI; and Kliebenstein was 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBI and a home run in her first game back from injury.

Game 3: Hawai‘i 10, Utah State  
The Rainbow Wahine completed the series sweep over Utah State with a 10-3 win in the regular season finale. Stephanie Ricketts picked up her 27th win of 2012 and she ended the season with an even 800 career strike outs. UH's offense racked up 12 hits in the game with home runs by Jessica Iwata and Kelly Majam while Kayla Wartner went 2-for-3 with two doubles and four RBI.
Ricketts (27-3, 12-1 WAC) threw 7.0 innings in the win, allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and three strike outs.
UH jumped out to an early 2-0 lead to start the game. Majam led the game off with a walk and was driven home all the way from first on Wartner's first double of the game that was drilled to the left-centerfield gap. Wartner advanced to third on the throw home and then she scored on a ground out to short by Sarah Robinson.
Utah State cut their deficit in half when Christine Thomsen led the home half of the first inning off with a home run. UH led after one inning, 2-1.
The ‘Bows built a 6-1 lead scoring four runs in the third. Alex Aguirre started the rally with a single to left. Then after a strike out, Dara Pagaduan ripped an opposite-field triple to rightfield to drive in Aguirre. After another strike out, Sharla Kliebenstein and Majam were both hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wartner then cleared the bases with a double for her second, third, and fourth RBI of the game.
The Aggies' Thomsen struck again in the third, leading the inning off with a double to right-centerfield. Hailey Froton later knocked in Thomsen with a double to left to cut UH's lead to 6-2 after three innings.
Hawai‘i added one run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly hit by Majam that scored pinch runner Jazmine Zamora. The ‘Bows then tacked on two more runs in the fifth on a two-run home run by Iwata. It marked her 13th home run of the season and her 46th of her career that gave UH a 9-2 lead.
Utah State's Thomsen then scored her third run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. After singling to short, she was driven home on a sacrifice fly to right by Froton. The core was 9-3 after five innings.
Majam capped the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the sixth that gave the ‘Bows a 10-3 lead. It was Majam's 12th homer of the season and 51st of her career.
Utah State's Mandy Harmon started the game and threw the first 6.1 innings, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits with seven walks and four strike outs. Dani Chaplin closed the game, getting the final two outs. She had two walks.
UH finishes with their best regular season record in school history at 43-5 with a .896 win percentage, bettering their previous best mark of 45-9 (.833 win %) set in 2007.
In the three game series against Utah State, Majam led UH with an .800 batting average (8-for-10) with three doubles, a home run and five runs scored. Kliebenstein made her return to the line-up starting in two games, hitting .667 (4-for-6) with a home run and three runs scored and Li‘ili‘i hit .500 (4-for-8) with a double and and RBI. Iwata launched three home runs and hit .400 with seven RBI.
The Rainbow Wahine enter next week's WAC Championship tournament as the top seed which gives them a bye in the first round. On Thursday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. (MT), UH will face the winner between No. 4 San Jose State (27-26, 9-10 WAC) and No. 5 Nevada (21-34, 9-12 WAC).  Brigham Young (40-13, 15-4 WAC) ended the WAC season ranked No. 2 while Fresno State (33-21, 13-6 WAC) finished at No. 3 and Louisiana Tech (23-31, 8-12 WAC) came in at No. 6.

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