Hawaii senior Tayana Mata came off the bench to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs and the Rainbow Wahine softball team rallied to a 5-3 win in eight innings over UC Riverside today in the opening game of a Big West series in Riverside, Calif.
With UH trailing 3-2, Mata delivered a pinch-hit single with two out in the top of the sixth inning to drive in Keiki Carlos with the tying run. The game went into extra innings and Mata again singled to score Carlos with two out in the eighth to give UH (19-21, 3-4 Big West) its first lead of the afternoon. Mata advanced to second on the play and Dori Ann Sugai followed with an RBI single for the game’s final run.
UH right-hander Brittany Hitchcock retired the Highlanders (27-13-1, 3-4) in order in the bottom of the eighth to close out a complete-game victory. Hitchcock gave up eight hits, struck out four and walked one and improved to 9-10.
The series concludes Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 10 a.m.