The University of Hawai’i softball team (17-9, 0-0 Big West) shut out the East Carolina Pirates, 5-0 in a non-tournament game played on Tuesday night at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Brittany Hitchcock improved to 8-3 with her second complete game shutout of the season. Hawai’i’s offense was highlighted by a two-run home run by Keiki Carlos in the fifth inning.
Hitchcock, the reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week, scattered seven ECU hits with no walks and six strike outs. The Pirates were able to get at least one runner on in every inning, but Hitchcock and the UH defense was able to escape unscathed.
Hawai’i took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Kayla Wartner led off the rally with a walk and moved to third on a double to the left-centerfield gap by Keiki Carlos. After a strike out, Heather Morales drove in Wartner with a single to centerfield. Then with runners at first and third, UH called a double steal. Carlos scored from third, but pinch-runner Sarah McAndrew was tagged out in a run-down between first and second.
The Rainbow Wahine added three more runs in the fifth inning. Leisha Li’ili’i started the rally with an opposite-field double hit into the leftfield corner. Tayana Mata then laid down a sacrifice bunt but the first baseman bounced the throw past the covering second baseman which allowed pinch runner Chenoa Au to score from second. Later, Keiki Carlos blasted her third home run of the season over the centerfield fence to give UH the 5-0 lead. It was Carlos’ 17th home run of her career.
Hawai’i will next begin the Hawai’i Pacific Health Rainbow Wahine Classic tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11–their fifth and final non-conference tournament of the season. Columbia, St. Bonaventure, Virginia Tech, and Western Illinois will all be coming to Honolulu for the five-day tournament which runs through Sunday.