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Homers power UH softball team to tourney title

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Jessica Iwata hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the fifth inning and the Hawaii softball team defeated Miami (Ohio) 8-2 in the championship game of the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament today at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

Earlier in the afternoon, home runs by Sharla Kliebenstein and Kelly Majam powered UH to a 3-1 win over South Dakota State that earned No. 14/17 UH (20-5) a spot in the tournament final.

A day after throwing a five-inning no hitter against South Dakota State, UH junior Stephanie Ricketts held the Jackrabbits to one hit and improved to 12-4. Kaia Parnaby finished with 10 strikeouts against one walk and earned the win over Miami.

In the opener, Kliebenstein gave UH a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a homer to left center. Majam broke out of a prolonged slump with a shot to right center in the fourth inning.

After Miami took a 2-0 lead in the championship game, UH tied the game on Majam’s two-out two-run double in the fourth inning. Iwata then gave the Wahine the lead with a two-run homer in the fifth. Alex Aguirre padded the lead with a three-run homer in the sixth.

UH faces Longwood at 6 p.m. on Monday at RWSS.

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