No. 16/21 Hawai`i completed the three-game series sweep over UC Riverside with a 8-1 win over the Highlanders on Military Appreciation Day at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium on Saturday afternoon. UH improved to 31-7 overall and 9-0 in the Big West while UC Riverside fell to 15-24 overall and 0-9 in conference. Hawai`i head coach Bob Coolen won his 900th and 901st career win with the doubleheader sweep today.
Senior southpaw pitcher Kaia Parnaby improved her record to 28-3 and 8-0 in Big West action. She threw 6.0 innings, giving up one run on four hits with no walks and two strike outs. Freshman lefty Loie Kesterson tossed the final inning, giving up two hits with one K.
After launching four home runs in the first inning of the first game of the day, the ‘Bows got three solo home runs to start the series finale in the first inning. Kelly Majam and Kayla Wartner hit back-to-back home runs for the second time this season to start the home half of the first. It was the second straight game that Majam led off UH with a home run and fifth time she’s done so this season. It marked Majam’s 68th home run of her career and 14th of the season. For Wartner, it was her seventh round-tripper of the season and 13th of her career. Later in the inning, Jessica Iwata drilled the third solo shot over the right-centerfield fence for the early 3-0 lead. It was her second home run of the day; fourth of the season and 51st of her career
In the third, UH tacked on four more runs on an RBI-single to right by Jazmine Zamora to score Iwata and Kaile Nakao had an RBI-ground out to short to score pinch runner Kiani Wong. Sharla Kliebenstein then lifted her second home run of the day; seventh HR of the season and 28th of her career to score the third and fourth run of the inning, giving UH a 7-0 lead.
UCR got one run back in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Kayla White.
Hawai`i capped its scoring in the fifth when Kaile Nakao drilled her first career home run to leftfield to give UH an 8-1 lead.
UCR’s Taylor Alvarez suffered the loss, dropping her record to 2-4. She started the game and gave up the two home runs and was quickly lifted for Ashley Ercolano who threw six innings in relief. She allowed six runs on 12 hits with two walks and a strike out.
The ‘Bows will now hit the road for its longest roadtrip of the season. They first play Cal State Fullerton with a doubleheader on April 13 starting at 4:00 pm and then a 12pm single game on April 14. Hawai`i will play a single game at Cal State Bakersfield on April 16 before ending their trip with a three game series at Cal Poly