HONOLULU—The University of Hawai'i softball team (25-15, 4-5 Big West) split its doubleheader on Saturday to win their Big West series, 2-1 over UC Riverside. Hawai'i fell in the first game of the double dip, 3-0 but bounced back in the series finale to shutdown the Highlanders, 5-0 on "Power in Pink" day at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
UC Riverside 3, Hawai'i 0
The Highlanders scored first, posting a run in the top of the first. Jenna Curtain reached on a fielder's choice that gave UH two outs. But UCR then got back-to-back hits, the latter by Hannah Rodriguez who drove in Curtain from second. The Highlanders went on to load the bases with another single, but the 'Bows got out of it with a flyout to center to end the frame.
UCR added another run on two outs in the top of the third. The Highlanders had both runners get on base to start the inning on a walk and a single. Hawai'i then lifted starter Dana Thomsen as Kanani Aina Cabrales entered the game. She promptly got a strike out and a flyout to left, but Brittney Garcia got a single to drive in Madeline Richard to give UCR a 2-0 lead.
UC Riverside capped their scoring posting a run in the top of the seventh to pad their lead to 3-0. With a runner at second, Curtan looper between the shortstop and leftfielder. Both defensive player went hard for it, but the ball glanced off them allowing Haley Harris to score and Curtan pull into third with a triple.
UH's Thomsen lasted two-plus innings, allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Aina Cabrales threw the final five-plus innings, allowing one run on three hits with a strikeout and a walk.
UCR's Taylor Misfeldt earned the win to raise her record to 9-4. She earned a complete game shutout giving up just three hits.
Hawai'i 5, UC Riverside 0
Hawai'i starter Brittany Hitchcock fired her second-straight complete game shutout firing a three-hitter. She flirted with a perfect game, retiring the first 12-straight batters before giving up a single to Jenae Lockwood to start the fifth inning. Hitchcock did not allow a runner to reach third base for the seventh time this season and for the 10th time this season, she did not issue a walk in an appearance. She struck out seven and faced just 24 batters—three over the minimum for the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Rainbow Wahine broke open a scoreless game as it erupted for three runs. Hawai'i loaded the bases with no outs. The 'Bows benefitted from a fielding error on the second baseman of a grounder hit by Callee Heen and then a throwing error on the shortstop trying to get the lead runner (Heen) at second. Chardonnay Pantastico then laid down a bunt base hit to juice the bases full of 'Bows. But UCR then got groundouts to the pitcher and shortstop who both gunned out the UH runner trying to score at the plate. Danielle Garcielita then ripped a two-out triple down the rightfield line to drive in Pantastico, Heather Cameron and Jordian Hicks for the 3-0 lead.
Hawai'i added two more runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 5-0. Nicole Lopez launched a solo home run to start off the sixth inning. It marked her team-leading 11th homer of the season and her 16th of the sophomore's career. After a groundout to second, Heen laced a single to the right-centerfield. Pinch hitter Angelique Ramos then drilled a double to the right-centerfield gap. Pantastico then drove in pinch runner Alia Monges from third with one out with a grounder that was misplayed for an error.
The Highlanders used four pitchers in the game. Anessa Cepeda also got off to a good start, retiring the first six UH batters to start the game. She was relieved right after giving up the bases clearing triple by Garcielita. Cepeda fell to 6-2 on the season, she threw the first 4.2 innings allowing three runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Haley Marschall threw 0.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit. Misfeldt threw 0.1 innings allowing one run on two hits and Rebecca Falkner got the final out of the sixth.
The win gave Hawai'i its 25th win of the season—one more than the Rainbow Wahine had all of last year.
The Rainbow Wahine wore special Under Armour jerseys for the "Power in Pink" campaign in honor of breast cancer awareness.
Next up, Hawai'i will head to the mainland to take on Cal State Fullerton next week. The two teams will play a single game on Friday, April 21 with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 22.
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