Jessica Iwata hit three home runs to lead the Hawaii softball team to a 6-1 win over Stanford today at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas.
The win over the Cardinal gave the ninth-ranked Rainbow Wahine (8-1) a split of today’s doubleheader after losing to Oregon 13-5 earlier in the day.
Stephanie Ricketts rebounded from a rough outing against Oregon to earn a complete-game win over Stanford. She held the 18-ranked Cardinal to four hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Iwata gave UH the lead with a home run in the first inning, added another solo shot in the fifth and went deep again in the sixth. She went 4-for-4 in the game and now has six home runs over four games in the tournament and seven for the season.
Kelly Majam preceded Iwata’s sixth-inning homer with a two-run blast to give Ricketts added breathing room. Sarah Robinson went 3-for-3 with an RBI double in the second inning.
Ricketts struggled in UH’s first game this morning, giving up 10 runs on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings in the loss to Oregon.
The Rainbow Wahine jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top the first inning, but the 14th-ranked Ducks scored five runs in the bottom of the second and five more in the third and handed UH its first loss of the season. The game ended in the fifth inning due to the eight-run mercy rule.
Hawaii loaded the bases to in the top of the first inning on two walks and an error. Majam scored on a passed ball and Iwata came in on Jenna Rodriguez’s RBI single. Dara Pagaduan’s ground out to shortstop scored Alex Aguirre with UH’s third run.
After the Wahine left the bases loaded in the top of the second, Oregon loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the inning. Monique Fuiava singled in the Ducks’ first run and designated hitter Christie Nieto followed with a grand slam to right, vaulting the Ducks ahead 5-3.
The Ducks went deep two more times in the third. Kelsey Chambers hit a two-run homer and a three-run shot by Courtney Ceo chased Ricketts from the circle.
Fuiava launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to stretch the Ducks’ lead to 13-3.
Rodriguez doubled home Sharla Kliebenstein in the top of the fifth and Robinson added an RBI single to bring UH to within eight. But Oregon reliever Brittany Rumfelt struck out Majam and Iwata to end the game. Mikayla Endicott earned the win for Oregon (8-1).
The Wahine close the tournament on Sunday against Cal State Northridge.