The University of Hawai’i softball team (28-21, 7-11 Big West) hosts its final homestand of the season against longtime rival Long Beach State (21-27-1, 9-9 Big West). Because of graduation on Saturday, the three game series will begin with a single game on Thursday, May 11 at 6pm followed by a Friday doubleheader on May 12 at 4:00 p.m. Friday night is also Senior Night for three Rainbow Wahine—Kanani Aina Cabrales, Ulu Matagiese and Heather Morales.
The Rainbow Wahine went 1-2 last week in their final roadtrip at Cal Poly. The Rainbow Wahine have had some hard luck, losing seven games in conference by just one run. In this most recent series, designated player/catcher Heather Cameron led UH hitting an even .400 (4-for-10) with two runs scored and an RBI. Shortstop Laura Jaquez hit .375 (3-for-8) with a run and an RBI while Chardonnay Pantastico kept up her hot hitting in conference, going 3-for-9 for a .333 batting average. She also had a walk, a double and three RBI. In conference games, rookie rightfielder Pantastico leads the Rainbow Wahine with a .353 average in 14 appearances. She is 12-for-34 in conference with six runs a double, a home run and six RBI.
Overall, sophomores Nicole Lopez and Sarah Muzik continue to lead the ‘Bows on offense. Both Lopez and Muzik have 52 hits on the season. Third baseman Lopez, leads UH with a .333 batting average (52-for-156), 11 doubles, 12 home runs (tops in the Big West), and 31 RBI (tied with Morales). She is also leads UH with a .635 slugging percentage and she is second on the squad with 25 runs scored. Muzik is hitting .331 (52-for157) and leads Hawai’i with 26 runs scored. On the season, she has recorded five doubles, two triples and 15 RBI and leads UH with seven stolen bases.
Morales is hitting .313 overall (42-for-134) with career-highs of nine doubles, 14 runs scored, seven home runs and a .537 slugging percentage. The senior first baseman is tied with Lopez for the team lead with 31 RBI.
Danielle Garcielita returned to the lineup after missing the UC Santa Barbara series due to injury. The starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter is fourth on the team with a .311 batting average (46-for-148) with 23 runs scored. Garcielita leads UH with seven sacrifice bunts and is second on the team with six stolen bases and 10 walks.
Rookie catcher/designated player Callee Heen continues to post solid numbers across the board. She is hitting .291 overall with 39 hits, 20 runs scored, six doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 29 RBI. She leads UH with 15 walks—including two intentional walks.
In the pitching circle, junior Brittany Hitchcock continues to post high marks. She enters the final week of the season with a 1.93 ERA (career-low) in 188.2 innings pitched and an 18-11 record. She has 26 complete games in 29 starts with 32 appearances. Hitchcock has fired eight shutouts while holding opposing hitters to a .223 batting average. She has issued 28 walks while striking out 158 (career-high).
Fellow junior pitcher Dana Thomsen snapped her four game losing streak this past week, earning a 9-2 win at Cal Poly. Overall, Thomsen is 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA in 19 appearances. She has thrown 96.1 innings while walking 30 and striking out 97.
Long Beach State (21-27-1, 9-9 Big West) won the final game in their three game series at UC Riverside, 9-0. The 49ers started the Big West season on a roll with an 8-2 record before going on a seven game slide falling to UC Santa Barbara twice, getting swept against Cal State Fullerton and then falling in the first two games at UCR last week.
Sammi Gyerman leads the 49ers with a .305 average (47-for-154) with 16 runs scored three doubles and a triple. Hannah Cookson is hitting a shade under .300 at .299 with 43 hits six doubles, three triples and 11 RBI. Three LBSU players lead the squad with 17 RBI—Nichole Fry, Aniesa Maulupe, and Julia Lombardi.
In the pitching circle, Christina Clermont has thrown a team-high 138.0 innings and has a 3.04 ERA with a 9-11 overall record with three shutouts and seven complete games. She has 73 walks and 70 strikeouts coming into this week. Cielo Meza however has a team-low 1.24 ERA and is 5-3 overall in 56.2 innings. She has held opponents to a .172 batting average with 23 walks and 44 strikeouts.
Who: Hawai’i (28-21, 7-11 Big West) vs. Long Beach State (21-27-1, 9-9 Big West)
When: Thursday, May 11 at 6:00 p.m.; Friday Doubleheader, May 12 at 4:00 p.m.
Where: Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium (1,200) – Honolulu, HI
Promotions: UHFCU is the series sponsor and will provide drawstring backpacks for the winners of the popular “Ballpark Bingo.” UHFCU T-shirts will be thrown into the stands during the fourth inning of each game of the series. After Thursday night’s game, the Rainbow Wahine will be having an autograph session with FREE POSTERS immediately following the game. On Friday, UHFCU will distribute 800 softballteam photos and award plaques to the seniors during a special “Senior Night” presentation following the second game of the doubleheader.
Television: OC Sports will broadcast Friday night’s doubleheader with Scott Robbs handling the play-by-play and Lori Santi serving as the color analyst. Fans can catch the action live on Oceanic Time Warner Cable Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD) –or- Hawaiian Telcom Channel 89 (SD) and 1089 (HD).
Live Video Streaming: Live video streaming will be available for Friday’s doubleheader for mainland fans. Go to the HawaiiAthletics.com softball schedule page for links.
Livestats: Live in-game stats will be available for all three games at the HawaiiAthletics.com softball schedule page.
Series History: The 49ers hold a dominant 58-28 all-time record against the ‘Bows. Last season UH won the first game of the three game series, 3-2, but fell in both games of a doubleheader, 2-4 and 0-1.
Coaches: UH head coach Bob Coolen enters this week with a 949-564-1 record in 26 years at Hawai’i. Overall, Coolen has a 1,021-662-1 career record in 31 seasons. Long Beach State’s Kim Sowder is in her 11th season in charge of the 49ers. She has a 333-217 career record all at LBSU.