HONOLULU - The Rainbow Wahine softball team will be staying on the mainland, but for how long?
Their performance in the NCAA Tournament will dictate.
Bob Coolen's crew was selected as an unseeded team to the Tucson Regional of the NCAA Softball Tournament, and will play Notre Dame on Friday. Also in the Regional is North Dakota State, and #13 Arizona.
Star pitcher Stephanie Ricketts didn't mind the placement. "I think we're just going to look on the bright side that we're not flying around, and that it's just a short drive away, the weather is relatively the same as New Mexico so I think it's actually a little bit easier to not have to fly home".
Coolen said the team's confidence remains high after a disappointing end to the WAC tournament. "We can hit the ball, and our pitchers are capable of holding teams at bay. It's just a matter of we're going to be facing teams that also deserve one of the top 64 slots in the country".
Should the Wahine advance out of the Regional, there is a possibility of a sibling rivalry, as #4 Oklahoma is on the same side of the bracket. Stephanie's younger sister, Keilani, plays for the Sooners. However, neither the older sister nor the head coach, are looking that far down the road.
"We know people aren't expecting us to go that far because we're from the WAC and we're unseeded, but we're not worrying about that. Right now we're focusing on beating Notre Dame."
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