Lindsey Willmon’s single with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Sharla Kliebenstein with the deciding run in the Hawaii softball team’s 6-5 win over Cal State Fullerton in the first game of Saturday’s Big West doubleheader. The visiting Titans then bounced back with an 11-run third inning in the finale and claimed the series win with a 12-3 victory at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
UH freshman Heather Morales gave up 12 hits, struck out two and walked one and earned a complete-game victory for the Rainbow Wahine (19-16, 4-2 BWC) in Saturday’s first game. CSF reliever Christin Washington took the loss.
Willmon gave UH the lead with a home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning and the Wahine added another run when Ulu Matagiese was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Gabby Aragon got CSF on the board with a homer to lead off the fourth inning. UH answered in the fifth when Leisha Li’ili’i’s sacrifice fly scored Keiki Carlos from third and gave UH a 3-1 lead.
The Titans overtook UH in the sixth when the first two batters singled and Lauren Mario launched a three-run homer.
Jazmine Zamora and Carlos singled with two out in the bottom of the inning and Li’ili’i delivered again double into the right-center gap to push UH ahead 5-4. Zamora scored from second and Carlos came around from first with the go-ahead run.
CSF was down to its last strike in the top of the seventh when Melissa Sechrest homered to center to tie the game again.
The inning ended in unusual fashion when Aragon was called out after a single. Aragon had been replaced by a pinch runner in the sixth and re-entered, but the change hadn’t been reported to the umpires. She was then ruled out as an illegal batter.
Kliebenstein reached base on an error to open the bottom of the seventh, stole second and advanced to third on Morales’ fly out. After Sarina Jaramillo reached on a bunt single with two out, Willmon’s grounder up the middle got through the infield to score Kliebenstein with the winning run.
The series finale was decided when CSF scored nine runs and sent 11 batters to the plate before the first out of the third inning was recorded. Two more runs came in on sacrifice flies and the Titans led 12-0. Missy Taukeiaho, Ariel Tsuchiyama and Samantha Galarza all had two hits in CSF’s nine-hit outburst.
Willmon hit her second home run of the day and Zamora followed with a shot to center in the bottom of the third. Matagiese drove in a run in the fourth but UH went down in order in the fifth to end the game.