POSTED: 8:29 p.m. HST, Feb 10, 2011
The Hawaii softball team opened the season with a 9-1 win over Southern Utah tonight in the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
The eighth-ranked Rainbow Wahine fell behind 1-0 in the first inning but hammered three home runs in the third and fourth innings to take control against the Thunderbirds.
Jessica Iwata and Melissa Gonzalez hit back-to-back homers in the third and Kelly Majam added a three-run shot in the fourth. The game ended in the bottom of the fifth due to the eight-run rule.
Southern Utah jumped ahead in the top of the first inning when Stephanie DeJesus flared a single into left and Aly Daniels followed with a triple into the right-center gap.
SUU starter Heather Black held UH hitless her first time through the order. That’s when the Wahine bats took over.
With two out in the third, Majam delivered UH’s first hit of 2011, going the opposite way for a double down the left-field line. Iwata then lined home run No. 1 of the season out to left center to give UH its first lead. Three pitches later, Gonzalez followed with a blast to center, putting UH up 3-1.
The Wahine loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth and Jocelyn Enrique’s groundout to shortstop gave UH a 4-1 lead. With two out, Majam — the NCAA’s reigning home run champion — drilled a 2-2 pitch from Black halfway up the net protecting the tennis courts beyond the center field fence.
The UH lead grew to 8-1 in the fifth when Brynne Buchanan scored from third on an illegal pitch by SUU reliever Kara Bendt. The Wahine loaded the bases and Jazmine Zamora was hit by a pitch to force in another run, bringing the eight-run mercy rule into effect.