Wahine sweeps DH with UCSB, close in on Big West crown - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Wahine sweeps DH with UCSB, close in on Big West crown

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HONOLULU (HawaiiAthletics) - The University of Hawaii softball team (40-11, 17-4 Big West) swept Saturday's doubleheader over UC Santa Barbara to capture at the very least a share of the Big West title with three games to play. The Rainbow Wahine launched five home runs in the first game to out-slug the Gauchos 11-9 then overwhelmed UCSB, 8-0 in five innings with senior Jessica Iwata drilling a walk-off solo home run to end the mercy rule game. Senior Kaia Parnaby earned a complete game win in the opener which ties her for the Big West single-season record with 35 victories, while freshman Loie Kesterson earned her first complete-game shut out in the series finale. Hawai`i's flexed its offensive power whacking nine home runs in Saturday's two games.
 
Hawaii remains in first place as the Big West season comes down the homestretch. UH controls its own destiny as it takes their 17-4 conference record into Pacific next week. Long Beach State swept UC Davis on Saturday and remains in second with a 16-7 record with one game left in their conference season. But the 49ers have the tie-breaker over UH after winning two out of three games in Honolulu last week. Pacific fell behind after getting swept at Cal State Fullerton this week falling to 12-9 in the Big West. Hawai`i needs to win one game next week at Pacific or a Long Beach State loss on Sunday to claim the conference title out-right. This is UH's first season back in the Big West after spending the last 16 years in the WAC. It is their second Big West crown in history after being co-champions in 1994. It is Hawai`i's sixth regular season conference title overall and it marks the first time the 'Bows have won back-to-back conference titles in school history. Last season UH captured the WAC championship with a 17-3 record. The senior class that was honored on Saturday has won three conference titles in their four years at UH.