The University of Hawai'i softball team improved to 20-10 with its second-straight doubleheader sweep with wins over Harvard and Marist on Day Four of the Hawaii Pacific Health Rainbow Wahine Classic. UH earned its first mercy-rule win of the season with a 10-2 victory over Harvard and then a 3-0 shutout against Marist on Friday night at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. With the win over Marist, the Rainbow Wahine have now won their last five-straight games—its longest win streak of the season.
Hawai'i 10, Harvard 2 (5)
Hawai'i posted four runs to start the game in the first inning. Garcielita chopped an infield single to lead UH off. After a fly out to left, Nicole Lopez pulled a single through the 5-6 hole. Heather Morales followed by hitting an opposite-field double to the right-centerfield gap to drive in both Garcielita and Lopez. After a strikeout, Angelique Ramos kept things going with a single to the third baseman that took a bad hop to put runners at first and third. Pinch runners Alia Monges and Courtney Hiruko then took their places at the corners and executed a double-steal to give UH a 3-0 lead. Heather Cameron then followed with a double to left to score Hiruko from second to push the 'Bows' lead to 4-0. For Cameron it was her fifth double in the last five games played.
Harvard had runners on first and second in the top of the third, but then Jordian Hicks ran in to catch a line-drive at her shoetops and then fired to second to double up the runner to end the inning.
Morales was hit by a pitch to start the third inning and moved to second on an infield hit by Heen that put runners at first and second. Morales hustled to third on a fly ball hit to rightfield by Ramos and then Morales scored on a Cameron groundout to short to increase UH's lead to 5-0 after three innings.
Harvard cut UH's lead to 5-2 after Jillian Leslie hit a two-run home run with one out in the top of the fourth inning.
But Hawai'i got the two runs right back in the bottom of the fourth with Lopez blasting a two-run, opposite-field bomb. It was Lopez's team-leading sixth home run of the season and her 11th homer of her career.
Cameron started UH's rally in the fifth with a sharp single up the middle. Pinch-hitter Justine Garner then drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Hicks then flew out to left which allowed Cameron to sprint to third on the tag to leave runners at the corners. Garner stole second to put both runners into scoring position. Garcielita followed with a single through the leftside of the infield to drive in Cameron and move Garner to third to leave runners at first and third again. Garcielita stole second base and then Muzik came through with the walk-off single to drive in Garner for the 10-2 win in five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule. It marked UH's first mercy rule win of the season and first since UH defeated Portland State in five innings on Feb. 26, 2016 and the first time that UH has scored in double-digits since that same game.
UH's Dana Thomsen earned the win to improve to 7-4 on the season. She threw all five innings allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Harvard's Kathleen Duncan took the loss, dropping her record to 1-4. She gave up seven runs on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings. She also had two strikeouts. Sarah Smith threw one plus innings allowing three runs on three hits with two walks.
Hawai'i 3, Marist 0
Hawai'i broke a scoreless game in the bottom of the fifth, jumping to a 3-0 lead on a two-out rally. Marist's defense started the inning getting a flyout to right and a swinging strikeout, but Hicks started things rolling by earning a walk. Garcielita followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second. Muzik then came through with a clutch single to centerfield to drive in Hicks. Lopez then hit a grounder that went off the third baseman for an error which allowed both Garcielita and Muzik to score for the 3-0 lead.
That would all Brittany Hitchcock would need as she earned her sixth complete game shutout of the season as she improved to 11-6 overall. She spaced three hits with five strikeouts and for the third straight game, she had no walks.
Marist's Kallen Leeseberg also threw a complete game, allowing three runs on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings of work.
Hawai'i closes out the Rainbow Wahine Classic and its non-conference portion of the season on Sunday as they will face Purdue in the tourney finale at 1:00 pm at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
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