FULLERTON, Calif.-The University of Hawai'i softball team (22-15, 3-1 Big West) defeated Cal State Fullerton, 5-1 to open a three game conference series at Anderson Field on Friday night. UH's Kanani Aina Cabrales fired her 10th complete game of the season and improved her record to 11-10 overall and 2-1 in the Big West. Keiki Carlos went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI while Rachel Lack hit 2-for-3 with a homer, sacrifice bunt and two RBI as well.
Aina Cabrales allowed one unearned run on five hits with a walk and three strike outs. She has not allowed an earned run in three complete games in conference thus far.
The Rainbow Wahine had one runner on in the first inning and two runners aboard in the second inning, but it wasn't until the third that UH was able to get on the scoreboard. The 'Bows took an early 1-0 lead when Keiki Carlos led the frame off by launching her fifth home run of the season over the leftfield fence on a full count. It marked Carlos' 19th home run of her career. Kayla Wartner followed with a walk, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Heather Morales, but Wartner was stranded there after a pop-out and groundout thwarted UH's rally.
The 'Bows added another run in the fourth to go up 2-0. Lindsey Willmon took the first two strikes but then watched the next four balls go by for a leadoff walk. Willmon moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rachel Lack. Kristina Akiona then hit a single to centerfield to put runners at the corners. Aina Cabrales then hit for herself and beat out an infield single to third to load the bases. Carlos then drove in her second run of the game with a single to third.
In the bottom of the fourth, Cal State Fullerton's Courtney Rodriguez reached first on a fielding error at short. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt executed by Sarah Moore. Eliza Crawford then followed with a single to left to put two runners on board with one out. On the play Crawford alertly hustled into second to leave both runners in scoring position. Pinch hitter Alexis Gonzalez then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Rodriguez which cut UH's lead to 2-1.
Lack led the sixth inning off by lifting her fourth home run of the season over the left-centerfield fence. Just like Carlos, the homer came on a full count. UH led 3-1 after five and a half innings.
Hawai'i then added two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 5-1 lead. Wartner led the inning off with a bunt single. Morales then hit into a fielder's choice which erased Wartner at second. Pinch runner Chenoa Au then entered the game and hustled into third on a single to right by Leisha Li'ili'i which left runners at the corners. Jaramillo then drove in Au from third with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Willmon then ripped a single down the leftfield line to put runners at first and second. Lack then hit into an unsuccessful fielder's choice attempt at second which allowed Burton to race around to score to give UH a four-run lead going into B7th.
The Titan's Christina Washington also fired a complete game in the loss. She fell to 12-4 overall. Washington gave up five runs on nine hits with two walks and four strike outs.
Hawai'i and Cal State Fullerton will conclude their three-game series with a Saturday afternoon doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 12:00 pm (PT).