POSTED: 9:28 p.m. HST, May 10, 2012
The University of Hawaii softball team opened the Western Athletic Conference tournament with a 5-1 win over San Jose State today in Las Cruces, N.M.
UH shortstop Jessica Iwata drove in two runs and pitcher Stephanie Ricketts held the Spartans to three hits as the No. 11/13 Rainbow Wahine (44-5) advanced in the winner's bracket.
Top-seeded UH will next face second-seeded Brigham Young, which defeated Louisiana Tech 6-1 this afternoon. The Wahine and Cougars are scheduled to play Friday at 10 a.m. Hawaii time.
Today's game was originally scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Hawaii time but was pushed back due to rain. It started around 11:45 a.m. after Louisiana Tech completed a 17-7 win over Fresno State in a game that was suspended due to lightning on Wednesday night.
UH didn't wait long to take the lead against SJSU, moving ahead in the bottom of the first inning on Sarah Robinson's sacrifice fly that scored Kelly Majam from third.
SJSU tied the game in the top of the third on a solo home run by Breanna Lopez.
The Wahine answered in the bottom of the inning after loading the bases with one out. Iwata's single up the middle scored Majam and Kayla Wartner and Leisha Li'ili'i singled into left field to bring in Robinson and give UH a 4-1 lead.
UH added another run with two out in the fifth inning. With runners on first and third, Iwata broke to second and the throw went into center field, allowing Wartner to score.
Ricketts held off the Spartans the rest of the way. She struck out two and walked four while improving to 28-3.
Amanda Pridmore took the loss for San Jose State (27-27). The Spartans are scheduled to play Fresno State later today in an elimination game.