The Hawaii softball team saw a five-game winning streak end with a 5-3 loss to Cal State Fullerton in nine innings on Friday in the opening game of a Big West series at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Cal State Fullerton rallied from an early deficit and Jazmine Antunez threw 8 2/3 innings of shutout relief as the Titans improved to 22-13-1 and 3-1 in Big West play. The Titans scratched out two runs in the top of the ninth, taking the lead on a wild pitch with two out.
UH’s Loie Kesterson went the distance for the Rainbow Wahine (18-15, 3-1). She gave up 12 hits, struck out five and walked four.
Leisha Li’ili’i gave UH the lead with a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the first inning, her team-leading 10th of the season and 33rd of her career off of CSF starter Christin Washington.
The Wahine threatened to add to the lead but left the bases loaded in the first and stranded runners at second and third in the second against Antunez.
The Titans loaded the bases against Kesterson in the top of the third and scored their first run when Gabby Aragon was hit by a pitch. Samantha Galarza delivered a sacrifice fly and Paige Kisling walked with the bases loaded to force in the tying run.
Kesterson and Antunez both left two runners on base in the seventh to send the game into extra innings.
The game went into the ninth and Galarza doubled down the left-field line with one out. Lauren Mario singled to center to put runners on second and third. Kesterson then got strikeout but threw a wild pitch to Kisling to bring in Galarza with the go-ahead run.
Leesa Harris lined a single into left to give the Titans a two-run edge going into the bottom of the ninth.
Jazmine Zamora led off with a single. But Antunez again doused the threat to give CSF the early edge in the series.