The University of Hawai’i softball team (23-28, 7-11 Big West) hits the road for their final Big West Conference series of the season at Long Beach State (30-19, 10-8 BWC). The two teams will square off in a single game on Friday, May 13 at 3:00 p.m. with Saturday’s season finale doubleheader on May 14 beginning at 12:00 p.m. Saturday’s games’ start times were moved up from the original schedule to accommodate both games being broadcast on ESPN3.
The Rainbow Wahine are coming off a hard fought, 2-1 series win over Cal Poly. All three games were decided by one run each, and both of UH’s wins came on exciting walk-off hits. On Friday night, the Rainbow Wahine opened the series with a come-from-behind, 3-2 victory. They rallied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to load the bases. Freshman Nicole Lopez then looped a single to left to drive in two runs to tie the game at 2-2. Junior Heather Morales then stepped up with another bases loaded situation and she came through with the clutch single to left to drive in freshman Sarah Muzik from third for the game-winner. On Saturday’s final Senior Day game, UH and Cal Poly were locked in a pitchers’ duel between Hawai’i’s Brittany Hitchcock and CP’s Sierra Hyland. The game was scoreless through the first seven innings, but Lopez struck again in the bottom of the eighth inning—this time ripping a walk-off, solo home run to lift the ‘Bows to a 1-0 win in their final home game of the season. Hitchcock flirted with firing a perfect game as she retired the first 17 batters faced. She gave up two hits before sitting down the last six-straight batters as well. It marked her 17th complete game of the season and her fourth shutout of the year.
Overall, senior rightfielder Keiki Carlos continues to lead UH with a .288 batting average (44-for-153) with 24 runs scored and 13 RBI. She leads the ‘Bows with 10 doubles, 20 walks, and a .388 on-base percentage. Carlos has started the last 112 consecutive games—the only game she missed in her four-year career, was the first game of her freshman season. Carlos is ranked No. 3 in the UH career record books with 45 doubles and No. 8 with 69 walks.
Lopez is second on the team with a .287 average, but she leads UH with 47 hits and a .471 slugging percentage. She has had a solid freshman season, scoring 18 runs with eight doubles, two triples, five home runs and 22 RBI. Fellow rookie Sarah Muzik is right behind Lopez, hitting .279 (46-for-165) with a team-high 28 runs scored. She also leads the team with five stolen bases and five sacrifices.
In the pitching circle, reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week, Hitchcock raised her record to 12-14 overall and 6-6 in conference. Overall, she has lowered her ERA to 2.09 in 29 appearances and 164.0 innings pitched. She has allowed 74 runs—49 of which were earned. She continues to lead the NCAA with fewest walks per seven innings as she has allowed just seven walks with 99 strike outs this season.
Kanani Aina Cabrales is 8-10 overall with a 3.55 ERA in 128.0 innings pitched. She has fired 10 complete games with a pair of shutouts and has held opponents to a .266
Who: Hawai’i (23-28, 7-11) at Long Beach State (30-19, 10-8 Big West)
When: Friday, May 13 at 3:00 p.m. PT; Saturday, May 14 (DH) at 12:00 p.m.)
Where: LBSU Softball Complex (500)
Video: ESPN3 will be broadcasting Saturday’s doubleheader. Trent Schlom will be handling the play-by-play; Jen Schroeder will serve as the color commentator and Megan Reza will be on the “sidelines.” Check HawaiiAthletics.com for links.
Livestats: Live in-game stats will be provided by the 49ers at longbeachstate.com