The University of Hawaii softball team captured the Big West Conference championship with today’s 3-1 win over Pacific in the first game of a doubleheader in Stockton, Calif.
The No. 20/24-ranked Rainbow Wahine completed the sweep with a 5-2 win in the second game. UH is now 42-11 for the season and 19-4 in league play. Hawaii will learn on Sunday where it will go in the opening round of the NCAA softball tournament that begins next week.
UH second baseman Jazmine Zamora’s tie-breaking two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning was the difference in today’s title clinching win. Senior Kaia Parnaby earned the complete-game victory as the Rainbow Wahine claimed a regular-season championship for the second straight year and the third time in the last four years.
With the win, Parnaby improved to 36-5 to set the Big West’s single-season record for victories. The senior left-hander finished with five strikeouts and walked none
UOP took the lead in the bottom of the second on Alex Steinmehl’s RBI single scoring Taylor Petty from second base.
UH put runners on second and third in the top of the third and Keiki Carlos tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field.
With two out and a runner on first in the sixth, Zamora launched her sixth home run of the season, and third in as many games, to give UH its first lead. Parnaby finished off her 36th complete game of the season with a game-ending double play in the seventh.
Pacific again took a 1-0 lead in the second game before UH broke away with a four-run third inning. Carlos gave UH the lead with a two-run homer and Zamora added a two-run double.
Pacific got a run back in the bottom of the inning on Megan Foglesong’s RBI double. Leisha Li’ili’i pushed UH’s lead to 5-2 with a solo home run in the seventh.
UH freshman Loie Kesterson (4-4) finished out a complete-game win, posting three strikeouts and two walks.
The Wahine conclude the regular season tomorrow with a third matchup at Pacific at 9 a.m. Hawaii time. UH head softball coach Bob Coolen said the team will remain in California for Sunday’s selection show