HONOLULU—The No. 14/20 University of Hawai`i softball team (38-10, 15-3 Big West) fell in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader to Long Beach State, 14-7 and 11-3 in five innings. The losses snapped UH’s five-game win streak and it was the first conference series loss for the ‘Bows since 2011.
Long Beach State 14, No. 14/20 Hawai`i 7
Two home runs by senior centerfielder Kelly Majam were not enough to overcome Long Beach State’s offensive output as the Rainbow Wahine fell in Saturday’s opener, 14-7. Freshman pitcher Loie Kesterson threw the first 2.2 innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits with one strike out. Keiki Carlos moved from rightfield to pitcher in the third inning and threw the final 4.1 innings. She gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks. UH pitcher Kaia Parnaby—the NCAA leader in wins—was unavailable for today’s games after taking a one-hop comebacker off her face in Friday night’s game.
Long Beach State started the game hot, with their first two batters reaching on infield singles. After two fly outs to center, the 49ers got a three-run blast by Karli Sandoval to give LBSU an early 3-0 lead.
Hawai`i got a run back in the bottom of the first when Kelly Majam led UH off with a solo blast over the centerfield fence. It marked her 70th career home run and sixth time this season that she’s led a game off with a homer. The next two batters—Kayla Wartner and Carlos—both reached safely on a walk and a single, but LBSU starter Christian Carbojal got out of the game with a pop out and two ground outs. UH trailed 3-1 after one complete inning.
The Beach added two runs in the second to give them a 5-1 lead. Nalani St. Germain led off with a single and then stole second. Ashley Holmes followed with an RBI single to left. Later Holmes scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Kimbrough.
Hawai`i then erupted for five runs to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the second. Kaile Nakao led off with a walk and after a strike out, Brynne Buchanan followed with a single through the leftside of drawn-in infield. Majam then followed with her second blast of the game. Her 71st home run of her career sailed over the right-centerfield fence and drove in both Nakao and Buchanan. It marked the sixth time in her career that she’s hit two round-trippers in one game. Wartner then drew a walk Carbojal was then lifted in favor of Erin Jones-Wesley for the 49ers. Carlos then walked to put two runners on base. Both runners advanced on an illegal pitch. Two more illegal pitchers with Leisha Li`ili`i at the plate pushed both Wartner and Carlos across the plate for UH’s fifth and sixth run of the game.
The Beach, however, answered right back, taking on three runs in the top of the third. After a strike out and a fly out to left, Sarah Carrasco and St. Germaine launched back-to-back home runs. Holmes then was plunked and UH’s Kesterson was lifted for Carlos in the pitching circle. Emily Gregorio drew a walk and Kimbrough followed with a double to left to score Holmes from second to give the 49ers an 8-0 lead.
Long Beach State added three runs in the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, the first two batters reached on singles and both moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Tupua-Tautalatofa. Lead runner Gregorio tried to score on a wild pitch, but was cut down at the plate when Sharla Kliebenstein hustled to the backstop and flipped the ball back to Carlos at the plate who was there for the tag. DeGaetano then reached first on a fielding error at second that allowed Kimbrough to score from third. Later, Carrasco drove in both DeGaetano and Tautalafua—who had walked—with a single up the middle to increase the 49er lead to 11-6.
LBSU added three more runs in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Tupua-Tautalatasi and a two-run homer by De Gaetano to go up, 14-6.
Hawai`i tried to mount one last rally in the bottom of the seventh. Li`ili`i walked to start things off and pinch runner Dori Ann Sugai moved to second on a single by pinch-hitter Kristina Akiona. Buchanan then drove a single up the middle to load the bases. Sugai then scored on a wild pitch, but LBSU got the final out on a fly-out to leftfield.
Long Beach State’s Carbojal threw the first 1.1 innings, giving up five runs on four hits with three walks and a strike out. Jones-Wesley earned the win improving her record to 16-8. She threw the final 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with six walks and eight strike outs.
Long Beach State 11, Hawai`i 3 (5 innings)
Box Score (html)
The Beach picked up right where they left off from the first game, scoring at least one run in every inning of the game except the second. LBSU posted two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Tautalafua to centerfield.
Long Beach State added one run in the third on an RBI single by De Gaetano to drive in Kimbrough and then five more in the fourth. The fourth inning saw Holmes hit an RBI double to score Carrasco; Kimbrough come through with a two-out RBI single to center and Tupua-Tautalatasi smack a two-run home run to center.
The 49ers added three more runs in the top of the fifth on back-to-back home runs by Carrasco and St. Germaine.
Hawai`i got three runs back in the bottom of the fifth, but could not make up the eight run deficit to extend the game. Majam reached on a fielding error on the shortstop and was followed walks to both Wartner and Carlos to load the bases. Tara Anguiano struck out swinging, but on the play the ball got past the catcher allowing Majam to score. Also on the play, LBSU starter, Jones-Wesley came up limping after trying to cover home on the wild pitch. Carbajal then entered the game. Li`ili`i drew a walk and then Jazmine Zamora drove a double to the left-centefield gap to drive in both Wartner and Carlos. But on the play, pinch-runner Sugai took a wide turn at third and got caught in a pickle and was tagged out by the catcher. Carbajal then got a fly out to right to end the game.
It marked just the second time this season that the ‘Bows have lost two games in a row and it was the first mercy-rule loss at home since 2009 when UH fell to California 10-1 in five innings on March 12. It also was the first conference series loss for UH since 2011, when Boise State swept the ‘Bows in Honolulu.
Kesterson suffered her second loss of the day, dropping her record to 2-4 on the season and 2-2 in conference. She gave up 11 runs on 12 hits with a walk and a strike out in five innings.
Jones-Wesley conversely picked up her second win of the day for the 49ers, improving her record to 17-8. She threw 4.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and two strike outs. Carbajal closed the game, getting the final two outs and allowing just one hit with a walk.
Hawai`i remains in first place in the Big West with a 15-3 record, but Long Beach State is now in second at 14-7 with Pacific (who was idle this week) in third at 12-6. The Rainbow Wahine will host its final home series of the season this coming weekend when UC Santa Barbara (27-20, 8-9 BWC) comes to Honolulu. Friday night’s game starts at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 2:00 p.m. Saturday is Power in Pink day at the park for breast cancer awareness…it will also be Senior Day for five Rainbow Wahine—Tara Anguiano, Brynne Buchanan, Jessica Iwata, Kelly Majam and Kaia Parnaby.
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athltiecs*