POSTED: 7:59 p.m. HST, Apr 27, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 9:35 p.m. HST, Apr 27, 2012
A nine-run, seven-hit barrage in the bottom of the fifth inning powered the University of Hawaii softball team to an 11-3 win over rival Fresno State in the opening game of a pivotal Western Athletic Conference series tonight at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
The Rainbow Wahine fell behind 3-0 then scored 11 unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings, ending the game in the bottom of the fifth by bringing the eight-run mercy rule into effect.
With the win, UH (38-5, 12-3 WAC) moved ahead of Fresno State (31-18, 11-3) and into first place in the conference standings.
UH's offensive outburst gave senior pitcher Stephanie Ricketts (24-3) the win while Michelle Moses (20-12) took the loss for Fresno State.
Fresno State took the lead in the top of the third on a two-out, three-run home run by Courtney Moore. The Bulldogs followed with two more singles, but Ricketts got out of the inning when Andrea Ortega flew out to center field.
With two out in the bottom of the fourth, UH second baseman Dara Pagaduan singled to center and fellow senior Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu cut into the Bulldogs' lead by launching a two-run home run to left field.
In the fifth, UH loaded the bases when Kelly Majam walked, Sarah Robinson singled and Jessica Iwata drew another walked. Alex Aguirre then hit a hard grounder that hit off the glove of a diving Maria Sio at shortstop and Majam and Robinson came around with the tying and go-ahead runs. Leisha Li'ili'i then looped a single into left to score Iwata and Aguirre, pushing UH's lead to 6-3.
After a strikeout, Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu bounced a single into center to score pinch-runner Jazmine Zamora from second and end Moses' night in the circle.
Jocelyn Enrique was brought in to pinch hit and she continued the rally with an RBI single to center to give UH an 8-3 lead.
Kayla Wartner added another RBI single and Robinson ended the game by driving in two more runs with her second hit of the inning, scoring Majam and Sharla Kliebenstein.
UH concludes its home schedule on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. The Rainbow Wahine seniors will be honored after the series finale.