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UH eliminated from WAC softball tournament

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:37 p.m. HST, May 11, 2012

The University of Hawaii softball team dropped two games today and was eliminated from the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.

The top-seeded Rainbow Wahine took leads in both games but lost to BYU 6-4 in their first game of the day and was knocked out of the tournament with a 9-7 loss to Fresno State.

Second-seeded BYU and Fresno State, the third seed, will play for the tournament title on Saturday.

In today's first game, UH took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning against BYU on a home run by Jessica Iwata. But the Cougars answered with six runs in the bottom of the inning off of UH starter Kaia Parnaby.

With the bases loaded and one out, Campbell graduate Katie Manuma singled into right field to drive in two runs and the Cougars tied the game on a bunt single by Stacie Toney. Krista Hicks then hit a three-run homer to right field to give BYU a 6-3 lead.

UH closed to 6-4 in the fourth inning on a two-out single by Iwata that scored Kelly Majam from second.

UH loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth inning on a single and two walks to bring Iwata to the plate. But BYU third baseman Ashlee Brawley snared a hard grounder to start a double play and another groundout ended the threat.

BYU pitcher Tori Almond got the win with 3 2/3 innings of relief, striking out six with three walks, and the Cougars ended UH's seven-game winning streak.

Stephanie Ricketts threw 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with six strikeouts and two walks.

In the elimination game, UH again took a lead inning against Fresno State when Sharla Kliebenstein hit a three-run home run with two out in the third inning.

After two walks, Majam homered to right field to stretch the UH lead to 6-0.

Fresno State loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning and Ricketts was brought in to in relief of Parnaby for the second time today. A sacrifice fly, an RBI single by Michelle Moses and a two-run double by Courtney Moore cut the UH lead to 6-4.

Moses tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run homer. After a walk and a single, Andrea Ortega gave the Bulldogs the lead with an RBI single. A single by Kaitlin Griffin and a wild pitch with the bases loaded pushed Fresno State's lead to 9-6.

UH closed the gap on an RBI double by Kliebenstein in the top of the sixth, and put a runner on with two out in the seventh but couldn't sustain a rally.

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