Rainbow Wahine’s magical run is overJune 7, 2010, 10:55 AM HST · Updated June 7, 10:55 AM 0 Comments
By Fred Guzman
The Rainbow Wahine ran out of miracles. After having won three straight games on their last ups, there were no dramatic home runs to bail out the University of Hawaii.
On Friday, UH suffered a 5-2 loss to UCLA. On Saturday, the Wahine were eliminated from the Women’s College World Series following a 5-1 loss to Arizona before a record crowd of more than 9,000 fans at Oklahoma City and a national TV audience.
Those setbacks, however, did nothing to take away from the greatest season in the history of the Hawaii softball program, under the direction for a 19th season of Bob Coolen.
UH’s magical campaign saw them capture the WAC regular season and tournament titles, win all three games in the Regionals, and upset top-seeded Alabama in the Super Regionals.
The Rainbow Wahine won their first World Series game in dramatic fashion against Missouri, as Traci Yoshikawa hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh.
UH closed its ledger with a 50-16 mark and demolished the NCAA record by hitting 158 homers, including a national-leading 30 by freshman Kelly Majam. The previous mark of 134 was set last season by Arizona.
Along the way, a previously low-profile program caught the imagination of fans in the Aloha State and across the nation. Mahalo, Rainbow Wahine.
BASEBALL BOWS: For a baseball team that was floundering as recently as mid-April, the University of Hawaii closed the season with a flourish.
UH’s late run came to an abrupt end yesterday as the Bows were eliminated from the NCAA tournament following yesterday’s 8-4 loss to nationally top-seeded and regional host Arizona State.
It marked the second time within as many days that the Rainbows were beaten by the Sun Devils. Hawaii opened with a dramatic 4-3 win over 19th-ranked University of San Diego, followed by a 12-1 spanking at the hands of the Sun Devils. UH bounced back with a 12-9 elimination-game win over USD in Sunday’s early game only to again run into Arizona State.
Hawaii finished its roller-coaster season with a 35-28 record, its first WAC tournament title in 18 years and qualified for the NCAA event for just the second time since 1993. UH played its last seven games against ranked teams, going 4-3.
The focus for UH now shifts to the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which begins today. Hawaii has four juniors and multiple recruits who could all wind up bypassing college to play pro ball.
Hawaii’s late-season surge likely extended coach Mike Trapasso’s stay at Manoa after UH athletic director Jim Donovan indicated last week that Trapasso will be offered a new contract.