The University of Hawai`i softball team (19-20, 4-6 Big West) was upended by Cal Poly who came back to defeat the Rainbow Wahine, 6-4 on Friday night at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Sophomore pitcher Loie Kesterson suffered the loss, dropping her overall record to 10-10 and 2-5 in conference action. Cal Poly's Sierra Hyland earned the win, raising her overall record to 20-7.
Hawai`i held a 4-1 lead going into the top of the fifth inning, but the Mustangs erased their deficit by charging back for the win, scoring two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Only two of Cal Poly's six runs were earned as the 'Bows committed three errors that proved costly.
Kesterson fired her 16th complete game of the season, giving up six runs on nine hits with five walks and one strike out.
Hawai`i scored their first two runs off of wild pitches. In the first inning, Jazmine Zamora started things with a one out single to left-centerfield. Later with two outs, Leisha Li`ili`i and Kayla Wartner both drew walks to load the bases. Hyland's wild pitch allowed Zamora to score the game's first run.
In the second inning, the 'Bows "rallied on two" again. Keiki Carlos drilled a single to the left-centerfield gap and Li`ili`i followed with a single to center and on the play, Carlos hustled into third base. Another wild pitch allowed Carlos to cross the plate to give UH a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Cal Poly's Jillian Anderson drove in Mariah Cochiolo with an RBI single up the middle.
But Hawai`i responded, posting two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Sharla Kliebenstein drew a walk to start the inning. Sarina Jaramillo then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but on the play, the pitcher tried to gun down the lead runner, Kliebenstein, at second, but the throw was off-line which left runners at first and second for the 'Bows. A groundout to second pushed both runners into scoring position and Kristina Akiona came through with an RBI single through the right-side of the infield. With runners at the corners, UH ran a double steal in which Jaramillo scored from third. On the play, obstruction was called on the shortstop who had blocked the path of pinch-runner Dori Ann Sugai. Hawai`i led 4-1 after four innings.
Cal Poly however then went on to score five unanswered runs in the last three innings. In the fifth, UH's defense got two quick outs, but a single to third and then a fielding error put runners at first and second. Then a ball hit in the right-centerfield gap went in and out of the centerfielder's glove for an error that allowed two runs to score. The Mustangs tied the score at 4-4 in the sixth on an RBI single by Laruen Moreno that scored Ashley Romano from second.
The Mustangs then scored two runs and took the lead for good in the top of the seventh inning. Courtney Tyler started the frame with a single up the middle. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hyland. UH got the second out on ground out to short. But a fielding error on the third baseman allowed Tyler to score from second. Romano then walked and Anderson hit a single to left to load the bases. Moreno then walked to force pinch runner Taylor Yzaguirre home for the Mustangs' sixth run of the game.
Hyland also tossed a complete game, giving up four runs on five hits with eight walks and six strike outs.
It marked the fifth straight loss for Hawai`i. It is the longest losing streak for UH since the 'Bows lost seven straight early in the 2009 season.
The two teams will square off with the series-ending doubleheader on Saturday starting at 2:00 p.m. It will be "Power in Pink" day at the stadium in which the Rainbow Wahine will be wearing special pink Under Armour jerseys in recognition of breast cancer awareness.