POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 18, 2011
Paige Affleck won't be around when the Brigham Young softball program joins the Western Athletic Conference next year.
That's probably the best news Hawaii could take out of a 4-0 loss to the Cougars in the Chevron Spring Fling Tournament yesterday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Affleck struck out 13 in a complete-game performance, retired 12 consecutive UH hitters from the second to fifth innings and held the Rainbow Wahine to three hits. UH threatened in the first and sixth innings, but left the bases loaded both times.
Hawaii's frustration extended nine more innings in a 1-0 loss to Iona in extra innings in its second game of the night.
The loss overshadowed an otherwise superb effort by UH right-hander Stephanie Ricketts, who struck out a career-high 13 in a complete-game performance. Ricketts was perfect other than a second-inning single, but the Gaels scored a run in the ninth on a passed ball and the UH offense couldn't answer against Iona's Sarah Jackson.
UH (22-7), ranked 16th and 20th in this week's polls, fell to 1-2 in the tournament and closes the round-robin portion against No. 9/10 California (19-2) today at 5 p.m. Bracket play begins tonight between the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams and the tournament concludes tomorrow.
"It won't get any easier," UH head coach Bob Coolen said. "Everyone's bringing their aces to us and we're not responding to that at all. You throw a one-hitter and lose 1-0, that's the sad part."
Hawaii and BYU, which established its softball program in 2000, don't share a lengthy rivalry, but the Cougars stretched their winning streak in the series to four while snapping UH's six-game winning streak.
The teams will see more of each other next year — if not later this weekend — when the Cougars join the WAC for the 2012 season, UH's last in the league before leaving for the Big West.
The Cougars added single runs in the third and sixth innings and Affleck doused UH's comeback hopes by striking out five of the last six hitters she faced.
"She was bringing it and mixed in a good change and we just didn't make any adjustments to it," Coolen said. "We're tired and it's showing against good pitching. No excuses, we just aren't coming up with the hits."
UH sophomore Kaia Parnaby took the loss in a complete-game effort. She gave up seven hits and finished with seven strikeouts with one walk.
BYU first baseman Katie Manuma, a Campbell graduate, had an infield single in the sixth inning.
In the nightcap, Ricketts and Jackson matched zeroes through seven innings.
The game went into extra innings with the international tiebreaker in effect, putting a runner on second to start each inning. UH began the bottom of the eighth with a walk to Dara Pagaduan and a Kelly Majam single to load the bases. Jasey Jensen was forced out at the plate on a grounder and Jackson struck out the next two hitters to extend the game.
Iona broke through in the ninth when Erin Kyle was sacrificed to third and scored on a passed ball. Jackson then retired UH in order to complete the shutout.
In the first game of the day, California's Jolene Henderson threw a five-inning no-hitter in the Bears' 9-0 win over Cleveland State. Henderson was one walk away from a perfect game and struck out four. Henderson also earned a complete-game win over BYU 4-2 in the second game.
|BYU (13-14)||201||001||0 — 4||7 1|
|Hawaii (22-6)||000||000||0 — 0||3 3|
Paige Affleck and Jessica Fitu. Kaia Parnaby and Sharla Kliebenstein. W—Affleck. L—Parnaby.
Leading hitters—BYU: JC Clayton, 2-3, RBI; Fitu, HR, 2 RBI. Hawaii: Kelly Majam, 2-3.
|Iona (6-7)||000||000||001 — 1||1 0|
|Hawaii (22-7)||000||000||000 — 0||4 0|
Sarah Jackson and Melanie Gettins. Stephanie Ricketts and Sharla Kliebenstein. W—Jackson. L—Ricketts.
Leading hitters—Hawaii: Jenna Rodriguez, 2B;
California 9, Cleveland State 0 (5)
California 4, BYU 2