Rainbow Wahine softball team's woes continue at UCSB

The University of Hawai'i softball team (20-24, 5-10 Big West) fell in the series finale at UC Santa Barbara, 6-4. With the loss, the Rainbow Wahine also lost the series, 2-1 to the Gauchos (30-18, 10-5 Big West). UH's Heather Morales suffered  the loss, dropping her record to 10-9 overall and 3-3 in conference while UCSB's Shelby Wisdom earned the win, improving her record to 18-13 overall.

The Gauchos took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The first two batters reached on a single and a hit-by-pitch. After a fly out, Lauren Boser hit an RBI single to left to drive in MeShalon Moore. Emily Brucelas followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to drive in Kathryn Pilpil.

Hawai'i got one run back in the top of the third inning on a solo home run by Kayla Wartner that sailed over the centerfield fence.

UCSB got the run back in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI-single by Kristen Clark to drive in Brucelas.

But Hawai'i fought back to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth. Morales led off the inning with a single to left and Sarina Jaramillo followed with a triple ripped to the right-centerfield gap to drive in pinch runner Dori Ann Sugai. Sharla Kliebenstein then drove in Jaramillo with a sacrifice fly to left to knot the score.

The Gauchos however, responded by scoring three runs in the bottom of the frame on three-consecutive RBI-hits by Brucelas, Stacy Cavazos, and Kristen Clark. UC Santa Barbara went into the seventh inning with a 6-3 lead.

The Rainbow Wahine rallied in the top of the seventh but it was not enough to overtake the Gauchos. Wartner led the frame off with a walk, but was erased at second on a fielder's choice hit to short by Keiki Carlos. Leisha Li'ili'i was then walked to put runners at first and second. Morales then drove in Carlos with a single up the middle. But the rally was thwarted on an inning ending double play for the final score of 6-4.

In the loss, Li''ili'i reached base safely for othe 20th straight game and she has now hit safely in 19 of UH's last 20 games. She currently leads UH with a .400 overall batting average, 50 hits, 14 home runs, 37 RBI and 27 walks.

Morales fired her 11th complete game of the season in the loss, she gave up six runs on 11 hits with a walk.

UCSB's Wisdom fired seven innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits with two walks and two strike outs.

Hawai'i returns home to host their final series of the season against Cal State Northridge. Friday's single game will start at 6:00 p.m. and there will be an autograph session immediately following the game. Saturday's doubleheader is Senior Day for Jori Jasper, Sharla Kliebenstein, Kaile Nakao, and Jazmine Zamora. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. Saturday is also Military Appreciation Day. The Rainbow Wahine will be wearing special Under Armour camouflage jerseys with patches representing the military units on O'ahu.