Hawaii advances to softball Super Regional
By Fred Guzman
The slugging prowess of the Rainbow Wahine wasn’t merely a product of playing in a second-tier softball conference.
Hawaii generated another impressive power surge yesterday and, as result, advanced to play top-ranked Alabama in the best-of-three NCAA Division-I Super Regional this Friday and Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
The Wahine hammered five solo homers en route to a 7-1 win over Texas Tech of the Big 12 to claim the Stanford Regional. Going deep for UH were Kelly Majam, Traci Yoshikawa, Melissa Gonzalez, Jenna Rodriguez and Katie Grimes. Rodriguez also had a two-run single
Pitcher Stephanie Ricketts, who grew up just 20 miles south of the Stanford campus in San Jose, allowed six hits, while striking out six and walking three, helping UH improve its season record to 47-13.
Hawaii also increased its home run total to 149, a D-I single-season mark that is 15 better than the previous record.
UH swept through the double-elimination regional with victories over UC Davis, Stanford and the Red Raiders. Majan, a freshman centerfielder, increased her personal home run count to 29.
Another softball team from the Aloha State also is making big noise during the post-season. Hawai’i Pacific rode the right arm of 6-foot senior right-hander Sherise Musquiz in posting back-to-back wins over Chico State by scores of 11-2 and 5-3 on Saturday to secure a berth in this week’s eight-team national Division-II tournament at St. Joseph, Mo.
NA KOA: The Victoria Seals scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, rallying to a 6-5 home win over Na Koa Ikaika Maui. Na Koa had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth on Fehlandi Lentini’s second solo homer of the game. It was Lentini’s third homer of the young Golden Baseball League season.
The five-game season-opening series continues Monday, with Victoria holding a 2-1 edge following a 5-2 loss on Friday and a 14-3 romp on Saturday. Coverage of Monday’s and Tuesday’s games will begin shortly before 4 p.m. on AM 900 and espn550.com. Na Koa’s lengthy road trip will include stops in Calgary and Edmonton before playing their home opener against Tijuana on June 8 at Iron Maehara Stadium.