The University of Hawai’i softball team (4-4, 0-0 Big West) fell to No. 5/6 Oregon(10-0, 0-0 PAC-12) to open the 2017 Bank of Hawaii Invitational on Thursday night. Nicole Lopez led Hawai’i at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run while Callee Heen went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Brittany Hitchcock suffered the loss dropping her record to 3-2. She threw the first four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Dana Thomsen closed the game tossing the final three innings allowing three runs on three hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts.
The Ducks got on the scoreboard first, posting single runs in the first and second. Leadoff batter Jenna Lilley led the game off with a triple off the rightfield fence. She then came home on a sacrifice fly to right by Gwen Svekis. In the second inning, Sammie Puentes drew a walk and went to third on a stolen base and an error on the throw from the catcher. After a strikeout, Puentes scored on a bunt single by Alexis Mack.
Hawai’i cut their deficit in half to 2-1 in the bottom of the second. Callee Heen ripped a triple past a diving rightfielder. Bree Soma followed with an RBI single to centerfield.
Oregon however would erupt for three runs as they linked together five consecutive hits—including back-to-back doubles—in the top of the third to extend their lead to 5-1.
Nicole Lopez led off the fourth inning with a line drive, solo home run to left field to cut the Ducks’ lead to 5-2. It marked Lopez’s second homer of the season and seventh of her career.
Oregon then posted two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to increase their lead to 8-2.
The Ducks’ Maggie Balint (6-0) fired a complete game and earned the win. She gave up two runs on four hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts.
Day Two of the Bank of Hawaii will start at 1:30 pm on Friday, February 24 with Montana playing Oregon. At 4:00 pm UNLV will take on Oregon and Hawai’i will play the final game against UNLV with the first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m.