FULLERTON, Calif.—The No. 15/20 University of Hawai’i softball team (33-7, 11-0 Big West) swept the opening doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton (16-25, 3-8 BWC) at Anderson Field on Saturday. The ‘Bows won the first game 14-2 in five innings via the mercy-rule and the second game 8-4. Hawai’i extended its streak to 13 overall and the ‘Bows have won their last 22-of-24 games. Senior southpaw Kaia Parnaby (30-3, 10-0 BWC) earned a pair of complete game wins to become just the third pitcher in UH history to earn 30 wins in a single season. At the plate, Kelly Majam led UH hitting an even .600 (3-for-5) and tied her career-high with a team-high four runs scored in Game One while Kayla Wartner and Keiki Carlos hit .571 (4-for-7).
Game 1: Hawai’i 14, Cal State Fullerton 2 (5 innings)
Parnaby earned her first win of the day with a five inning complete game, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and two strike outs.
Majam led the game of with a five-pitch walk and after a strike out, Keiki Carlos launched a two-run bomb to centerfield to give UH an early 2-0 lead. It marked Carlos’ sixth home run of the season—her third of the conference season.
The Titans cut their deficit in half, getting one run back in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Ariel Tsuchiyama and Ashley Carter both reached on singles but Jazmine Zamora turned a 4U-3 double-play to get the first two outs with Tsuchiyama advancing to third on the play. Tsuchiyama then scored on an illegal pitch. After one complete inning, UH led, 2-1.
Cal State Fullerton then tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second. Melissa Sechrest reached on an error on the shortstop and pinch-runner Jena Rubio advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carissa Turang. Rubio then hustled into third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI single to short by Leesa Harris.
Hawai’i responded in the top of the third. Majam led off the inning with a double to the right-centerfield gap. After a line-out to short, Carlos worked her way on base with a walk to put runners at first and second. Jessica Iwata pushed both runners into scoring position with a groundout to short. Li`ili`i then came through with a clutch single to center to drive in Majam from third to re-take the lead, 3-2.
The ‘Bows then extended their lead in the fourth to 7-2, scoring four runs. Kaile Nakao led things off with a single to left. Nakao was pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sharla Kliebenstein. Brynne Buchanan then reached base safely on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners. Majam was then plunked to load the bases. Wartner followed by drilling a double to the right-centerfield gap to score both Nakao and Buchanan and leaving runners at second and third. Carlos kept things rolling with a single to center to score Majam with Wartner advancing to third. Iwata lifted a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Wartner for UH’s fourth run of the inning.
Hawai`i put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth scoring seven runs off of relief pitcher Katey Laban. Nakao led things off with a single to left and Kliebenstein walked to put runners at first and second. Buchanan then reached on an error on the pitcher allowing Kliebenstein to hustle into third and Nakao to cross the plate for UH’s first run of the inning. Majam then ripped a first pitch single to center to drive in Kliebenstein from third and move Buchanan to third. Wartner followed with another RBI-single to center to score Buchanan. Carlos then hit a come-backer to the pitcher for a groundout that moved both Majam and Wartner into scoring position. Iwata walked to load the bases. Li’ili’i then reached on an error on the catcher which moved everyone up a base and score Majam. Zamora followed with an RBI single to center to drive in pinch-runner Kiani Wong. After a foul fly-out to first, Kliebentein capped UH’s scoring with a two-run double to left to give the ‘Bows a commanding 14-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Titans’ Jasmine Antunes started the game in the circle, tossing the first two innings. She allowed two runs on one hit with two walks and three strike outs. Desiree Ybarra suffered the loss, dropping her record to 5-11. Ybarra threw two-plus innings, allowing five runs on six this with a walk while Laban ended the game throwing one inning. She gave up seven runs on five hits with two walks.
Game 2: Hawai’i 8, Cal State Fullerton 4
Parnaby earned her second win of the day with her second complete game effort. With the win, Parnaby raised her overall record to 30-3 and 10-0 in Big West games. She became just the third pitcher in UH history to earn 30 wins in a single-season in UH history. She tied Stephanie Ricketts at 30 (set in 2010) and is chasing Melissa Coogan’s program record of 32 set in 2003.
The Rainbow Wahine started the game posting one run in the top of the first. Wartner was plunked with one out in the first inning and moved to second on a single to left by Carlos. Iwata followed a hit to center to load the bases. Later, with two outs, Zamora reached on an error on the catcher which allowed Wartner to score.
The Titans however answered right back in the bottom of the first. After a fly out to right, Ashley Carter reached on a single to third. She advanced to third on a double to left by Ybarra putting both runners in scoring position. Eliza Crawford then hit a three-run home run to leapfrog the ‘Bows, 3-1.
The ‘Bows got one run back in the top of the second on back-to-back doubles by Majam and Wartner with two outs. UH trailed 3-2 after two innings of play.
In the fourth, UH retook the lead 5-3. Kliebenstein smacked a solo home run to left to tie the game at 3-3 and later in the inning, Wartner cranked an opposite-field two-run homer to left. It marked both Kliebenstein’s and Wartner’s eighth home run of the season. For Kliebenstein, it marked her 29th of her career and for Wartner, it was her 14th.
The score remained 5-3 until the sixth, when UH added three more runs. Buchanan started the inning with an infield hit to second and moved to second on a walk to Majam. An error on the second baseman allowed Buchanan to score and later with one out, Iwata drilled a double to left to score both Majam and Wartner to give the ‘Bows an 8-3 lead.
Cal State Fullerton got one run back in the bottom of the sixth on a solo homer by Sechrest that made the score, 8-4.
Atunez threw the first 5.1 innings, allowing eight runs on 10 hits with a walk and four strike outs while Ybarra fired the final 1.2 innings with a walk.
Majam led UH at the plate, hitting .600 in the two games (3-for-5) with two doubles, two walks and seven runs scored. Wartner and Carlos both hit .571 (4-for-7). Wartner scored four runs with two doubles and a home run with a team-high six RBI while Carlos smacked a triple and a home run with three RBI.
The Rainbow Wahine and the Titans will complete their three-game series tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*