HONOLULU—The University of Hawai’i softball team (13-14, 0-0 Big West) fell to No. 2 Oregon, 3-0 on Saturday afternoon on the final day of the Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic. Hawai’i starter Loie Kesterson pitched a solid game, tossing a complete game in the loss against the Ducks to fall to 7-5 on the season.
Hawai’i the No. 5 seed after pool play, defeated No. 4 Valparaiso on Friday night, 8-4 and advanced to face the No. 1 seed, Oregon who had gone unscathed through the first four games of the tourney.
Oregon posted a single run in the bottom of the first. The Duck’s lead-off hitter, Courtney Ceo, started the home half of the first inning with a single up the middle. She moved to second on a ground out to second and later scored with two outs on a base hit up the middle by Janelle Lindvall.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Ducks until the bottom of the fifth when Oregon got a clutch, two-out, two-run single to left by Ceo to drive in Koral Costa and Nikki Udria. On the play, Ceo’s single to left allowed Costa to score, but the throw ricocheted off Costas helmet at the plate which let Udria to also cross the plate for the 3-0 lead.
Kesterson fired six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with a walk and three strike outs. She faced just 24 batters.
Oregon’s starter Cheridan Hawkins shut down the Rainbow Wahine offense, fanning 11 with zero walks. She gave up just two hits and faced just 23 batters in an efficient outing. Hawkins retired the first 14 batters in a row before Sharla Kliebenstein broke up the perfect game with a single to left. In the top of the seventh, Leisha Li’ili’i drilled a double down the rightfield line, but was left stranded as the game ended on a fly-out to center.
After the UH vs. Oregon game, No. 2 James Madison defeated No. 3 Seed BYU, 3-1. Then the Dukes went on to shut out Oregon in the championship game, 3-0 to capture the 2014 Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic title.
Hawai’i has this coming week off before heading to California first for two games at Loyola Marymount where they will play the Lions and UMKC (Missouri-Kansas City). Then Hawai’i will open Big West play with a three game series at UC Riverside with a single game on Friday, March 28 at 2:00 pm and a doubleheader on Saturday March 29 at 12:00 pm.
2014 Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team
Courtney Ceo, Oregon
Lauren Bell, BYU
Kailee Cuico, Oregon
Caitlin Sandy, James Madison
Kaile Nakao, Hawai’i
Janie Takeda, Oregon
McKenzie St. Clair, BYU
Keiki Carlos, Hawai’i
Madyson Moran, James Madison
Tarah McShane, Valparaiso
Most Valuable Player – Alyssa Gillespie, Oregon
Co-Most Valuable Pitchers – Jailyn Ford, James Madison and Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*