Posting team-highs in batting average and hits, University of Hawai’i softball sophomore Nicole Lopez (‘Aiea, O’ahu/Mid-Pacific Institute) turned in an MVP-worthy performance and captured Big West Softball Field Player of the Week honors. It is Lopez’s first weekly conference honor of her career. It is also the second consecutive week that a Rainbow Wahine earned the award. Last week, Heather Morales was voted Player of the Week.
Lopez did, in fact, receive Most Valuable Player recognition of the Hawai’i Pacific Health Rainbow Wahine Classic after leading the team to a 6-1 record, including wins in the last six games. She hit .550 with 11 hits in 20 at-bats, recording four multi-hit and three multi-RBI games.
The third baseman also played stellar defense, committing no errors with seven put-outs and 18 assists.
At the plate, Lopez did some damage with five extra base hits among the 11 total she collected, including three doubles and two home runs which helped her record a team-high 1.000 slugging percentage and .571 on-base percentage.
Lopez tallied two doubles and two RBI as part of a 3-for-4 performance at the dish in UH’s 7-0 win over Harvard. She went 2-for-3 with a stolen base in a 2-1 triumph over Purdue, and followed with another 2-for-3 effort in a 4-1 victory against Connecticut. Against the Huskies, she clubbed her third two-bagger of the tournament and finished with a run scored.
In a 10-2 win over Harvard, Lopez slammed a two-run, opposite field home run to right-center as the Rainbow Wahine won their first mercy rule game of the season. She homered again in the tourney finale, a 4-1 win over Purdue, a two-run shot that marked her seventh of the season. It was UH’s 25th of the season, which tied the team total for all of 2016.
The Rainbow Wahine have this week off before beginning Big West Conference play. Hawai’i opens with a three-game series against UC Davis opening with a single game on Friday, March 31 at 6:00 pm followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, April 1 at 2:00 pm.