After a hot start to their first road trip of the season, the Hawaii softball team cooled off in the California chill and closed its stay yesterday with a third straight loss.
Virginia rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to upset the Rainbow Wahine in UH’s final game in the Cathedral City Classic.
No. 10/11 Hawaii went 7-4 over its 10-day stay on the mainland, losing three times in the last two days.
Four UH errors contributed to four unearned runs in yesterday’s game. The Wahine committed five in a 3-2 loss to Syracuse on Friday.
"We hit the wall," UH head coach Bob Coolen said.
Virginia’s Melanie Mitchell earned a complete-game win, surrendering five hits, and finished with nine strikeouts. Stephanie Ricketts took the loss for UH, giving up 10 hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts and three walks.
UH returns to Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium to host the Bank of Hawaii Invitational starting Friday. Coolen said among the priorities this week will be to find some production out of the designated player and second base spots in the lineup.
"The end (of the trip) overshadowed, but we did get some good things out of it," Coolen said.
In yesterday’s finale, the Wahine struck for two runs in the top of the first inning on RBI singles by Melissa Gonzalez and Jenna Rodriguez.
Virginia answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning with the first two Cavaliers hitters reaching on errors. Giannina Cipolloni scored the first run on a fielder’s choice grounder and Erica Cipolloni added an RBI single later in the inning.
UH reclaimed the lead in the top of the third on Gonzalez’s two-run homer. The Wahine took a 4-3 advantage into the sixth when Virginia tied the game on Giannina Cipolloni’s RBI triple. Cipolloni scored the go-ahead run when Taylor Williams, who had reached on an infield single, stole second and the throw was mishandled. With Williams on third, Stephanie Harris’ groundout to second added an insurance run.
"They had some speed and we couldn’t answer. We made some errors and fell apart on some plays," Coolen said.
Mitchell then retired the Wahine in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Stephanie Ricketts and Sharla Kliebenstein. Melanie Mitchell and Kristen Hawkins. W–Mitchell (6-3). L–Ricketts (7-3).
Leading hitters—UH: Melissa Gonzalez 2-3, HR, 2 runs, 3 RBIs. UVA: Giannina Cipolloni, 2-3, 3b, 2 runs, RBI; Alex Skinkis 2-4; Alison Pittman 2-3.