The contrasting styles of Stephanie Ricketts and Kaia Parnaby produced similarly solid results for the Hawaii softball team yesterday.
Both Rainbow Wahine pitchers threw one-hitters in UH’s doubleheader sweep of UC Riverside at Amy S. Harrison Field.
Ricketts took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a single in UH’s 2-0 win in the opener. The junior right-hander finished with six strikeouts and walked two.
Parnaby, a sophomore lefty, followed by striking out eight in a 9-1 win shortened to six innings due to the eight-run mercy rule.
"We’re so different just from being right-handed and left-handed, to our personalities that it works out really well," Ricketts said.
UH improved to 11-1 and next heads to Palm Springs, Calif., for the Cathedral City Classic, which opens tomorrow.
The Rainbow Wahine — ranked 10th in this week’s USA Today/NFCA poll and 11th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll — open the tournament against No. 6 Oklahoma tomorrow and will also face No. 18/22 Nebraska, Syracuse and Virginia.
In yesterday’s first game, Kayla White’s single to right with two out in the sixth inning broke up Ricketts’ no-hitter. In addition to her six strikeouts, Ricketts got 12 groundouts and just two fly outs and faced two batters over the minimum.
"It’s easier to just get groundouts than work for strikeouts all the time," Ricketts said. "(Shortstop) Jessica (Iwata) made really good plays up the middle and it’s easy to pitch well when you have a good defense behind you."
Riverside’s Jordyn McDonald took the loss despite holding Hawaii to two runs on seven hits. Kelly Majam scored both UH runs on UC Riverside errors in the first and fifth innings.
Parnaby had a bit more breathing room in the second game.
Third baseman Melissa Gonzalez went 4-for-4 and gave UH the lead with a two-run single in the first inning. The Wahine scored four more runs in the third. Iwata hit her team-leading eighth home run of the season and Sharla Kliebenstein added a two-run blast.
"It’s a big ballpark, you’ve really got to get all of the ball," UH head coach Bob Coolen said. "Jess’ and Sharla’s were all of the ball; they did a good job."
Parnaby pitched in just one game at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic last weekend, and so was well rested yesterday.
"Having (Ricketts) go out there ahead of me gave me a lot of confidence. … My screwball had me going good and my curveball complemented it a lot. It was good to go out and come back in and cheer on the hitters a bit."
HAWAII 2, UC RIVERSIDE 0
At UC Riverside
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Stephanie Ricketts and Sharla Kliebenstein; Jordyn McDonald and Alexis Pickett. W–Ricketts (6-1). L–McDonald (1-3).
Leading hitters—UH: Kelly Majam 2-4, double; Jenna Rodriguez 2-3; Dara Pagaduan 1-3, double. UC Riverside: Kayla White 1-3.
HAWAII 9, UC RIVERSIDE 1
At UC Riverside
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Kaia Parnaby and Sharla Kliebenstein; Casey Suda and Alexis Pickett. W–Parnaby (4-0). L–Suda (0-1).
Leading hitters—UH: Alex Aguirre 2-4, double; Melissa Gonzalez 4-4, 2 RBIs; Sharla Kliebenstein 2-3, HR, RBI; Jenna Rodriguez 2-4, RBI; Jessica Iwata 1-4, HR, RBI; Sarah Robinson 1-3, RBI; Jocelyn Enrique 1-4, RBI. UC Riverside: Brittany Keeney 1-2, double, RBI.