The University of Hawaii softball team (21-26, 6-12 Big West) split its final home doubleheader against Cal State Northridge on Saturday at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Hawai`i fell in the first game, 5-0, but game back in the second game to win the series finale, 7-3 on Senior Day. It was the final home games for four Rainbow Wahine-Jori Jasper, Sharla Kliebenstein, Kaile Nakao and Jazmine Zamora.
Cal State Northridge 5, Hawai`i 0
The Matadors scored all their runs in the first and second innings and then held off the 'Bows for the 5-0 win to capture the series. For the second straight game, CSUN came out firing, scoring three runs in the top of the first. After a ground out to short, Madalyne Handy reached on a fielding error on second. Taylor Glover then laid down a bunt single and Katie Hooper loaded the bases with a walk. Handy scored the first run on a wild pitch. Ariana Wassmer was then plunked to load the bases again. Then Madison Fleming was hit by a pitch to score Glover. UH then got the second out as Kaile Nakao threw out the lead runner at the plate from third. But CSUN tacked on another run when Leann Lopez got beaned to force Wassmer across the plate.
In the second inning, the Matadors added two more runs to give CSUN a 5-0 lead. Cal State Northridge's Carissa Sherman led off with a single, but then the 'Bows got two straight ground outs. Hooper kept the inning going with a single up the middle to drive in Sherman from third and Wassmer followed with a single to right to score Hooper.
Hawai'i had runners on in all but one inning, but was not able to score in the game for just the sixth time this season.
Loie Kesterson took the loss, dropping her record to 10-13 overall. She gave up five runs-two of which were earned. Kesterson allowed seven hits with a walk and two strike outs.
The Matadors' Brianna Elder won her second consecutive to improve to 22-10 overall. She allowed four hits with three walks and six strike outs.
Hawai`i 7, Cal State Northridge 3
The Rainbow Wahine bounced back in the series finale to defeat the Matadors, 7-3 in their Senior Game. The Matadors took the early lead, scoring one run in the top of the second. Hooper led the inning off with a double to the left-centerfield gap. Wassmer followed with a looping single over first and bounced on the side of the second baseman who tried to field it unsuccessfully allowing both runners to move into scoring position. After swinging strike out, Maylynn Mitchell hit an RBI-single to left to drive in Hooper from third. CSUN went on to load the bases but the batter tried to bunt and it was fielded by Kayla Wartner, the catcher, who stepped on home plate for the second out. Hawai`i escaped without further damage on a groundout to third, with CSUN holding a 1-0 lead.
Hawai`i broke through in the third inning. Wartner led off with a walk and Keiki Carlos drilled a double to leftfield to put runners at second and third. Leisha Li`ili`i then lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Wartner. Later Sarina Jaramillo launched a two-run bomb over the left-centerfield fence to give Hawai`i a 3-1 lead.
The Rainbow Wahine added three more runs in the fifth inning-all of which were unearned. Carlos started the rally hitting a grounder to short but the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag to leave Carlos safe at first. Li`ili`i then drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Heather Morales then hit a grounder to short, but the shortstop was unable to make the fielder's choice at third leaving the bases loaded. Jaramillo then grounded into a double play which Carlos came home on. Lindsey Willmon then drilled a single to right which was mis-played and bounced to the fence for a two-base error. On the play, pinch-runner Dori Ann Sugai scored from third. Willmon then scored UH's third run of the inning on a wild pitch to give UH a 6-1 lead.
Hawai`i added one more run in the sixth. Carlos laced her second double of the game to the right-centerfield gap. After a strike out, Morales came through with a single down the leftfield line to score Carlos for the 7-1 lead.
The Matadors wouldn't go down easy however, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh. UH got the first two outs on a pop up to short and fly out to centerfield. Pinch hitter Jordan Sauceda then walks and Glover was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Pinch hitter Taylor Nate then roped a double to the right-centerfield gap to drive in the two runs. Ulu Matagiese then ended the game with a sliding catch in shallow leftfield.
Morales earned the win, improving her record to 11-10 overall. She threw all seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits with four walks and four strike outs.
Elder suffered the loss, dropping her record to 22-11 overall. She threw four-plus innings, giving up five runs on four hits with four walks and a strike out. Daphne Pofek closed the game, tossing the final two-plus innings, giving up two runs on five hits with three strike outs.
Hawai`i has now won the last 11-straight Senior Night games. The Rainbow Wahine close the season this coming weekend at UC Davis with a three-game conference series. The series starts with a doubleheader on Friday at 1:00 pm and concludes on Saturday, May 10 with a single game with the first pitch slated for 12:00 p.m.