POSTED: 11:49 a.m. HST, Feb 08, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 04:19 a.m. HST, Feb 09, 2014
UCLA's three-run rally in the fifth inning sent the Bruins to a 4-1 win over Hawaii in the championship game of the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic Saturday night at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
No. 16 UCLA went 5-0 in the three-day tournament while UH closed the season's opening weekend at 3-2.
Ally Carda allowed one run on three hits over five innings to earn the win and went 3-for-3 at the plate. Paige McDuffee threw two innings of shutout relief to pick up the save.
UH freshman Heather Morales extended her scoreless innings streak to 20 before UCLA broke through with the game's first run on Mysha Sataraka's sacrifice fly in the third inning. UH tied it in the fourth on Leisha Li'ili'i's two-out single to score Keiki Carlos.
UCLA broke the tie in the fifth when Delaney Spaulding singled up the middle to drive in Gabrielle Maurice with the go-ahead run. Alyssa Tiumalu, the tournament MVP, drove in two more runs with a two-out single through the right side of the infield.
UH reached the tournament final with a 9-1 win over Hampton the first game of the day.
Li'ili'i hit two home runs and drove in five runs, tying a career high, and Morales held Hampton without a hit in her four shutout innings and improved to 3-0. She finished with three strikeouts and a walk.
Sophomore Loie Kesterson gave up two hits and a run in the top of the fifth, but closed out the win by the eight-run mercy rule.
Li'ili'i, UH's junior first baseman, homered in her first two plate appearances, opening the scoring with a two-run shot to right-center field in the bottom of the first inning. She launched a three-run blast to right in the third inning that gave UH a 6-0 lead.
Carlos went 3-for-3 with an RBI single in the third inning and a two-run double in the fourth that brought the eight-run rule into play.
Li'ili'i, Morales and Lindsey Willmon made the all-tournament team for UH. Carda was named the Most Valuable Pitcher.