She’s the self-describe "dork" of the Hawaii-Hilo softball team, the "phone-a-friend" if a buddy was competing on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."
Trivia is what Amber Waracka is good at. But she’s even better at pitching for the Vulcans.
The junior right-hander picked up her 14th win in Sunday’s regular-season finale against Chaminade. It kept alive Hawaii-Hilo’s hopes for an at-large berth in the NCAA Division II regional.
The field will be announced Sunday, with the top eight ranked teams in each region advancing. The Vulcans (28-14, 21-7 PacWest) are ninth; the next ratings will be released tomorrow.
"We’re still hoping," Waracka said of receiving an at-large bid. "We’ve worked hard the whole season. All aspects of our game have improved.
"We’re a great team and we hope we’ll still be playing this season."
The 2008 Kamehameha Schools graduate twice has been named the National Pitcher of the Week, the second coming March 16. A month later, she tossed a perfect game, a 5-0 victory over BYU-Hawaii.
"It’s nice to be honored, but when it comes down to it, it’s just another thing you put on the wall," said Waracka, who has a 1.85 ERA. "The season is what matters.
"We play softball because we love it."
First-year Vulcans coach Jaime Wallin said Waracka is "unique."
"She’s the person we go to when we need random facts," Wallin said. "The one thing that she really brings to the table in softball is her intensity level. That’s her strength, that fighter attitude."
Waracka is majoring in Hawaiian history and aspires to becoming a teacher.
"I chose Hilo for the major and the small-town feel," said Waracka, who was raised in Kahaluu. "There are so many things, so many facts people don’t know about Hawaiian history. I want to make Hawaiian history fun.
"I am Hawaiian and we have to have passion for our history."
Patton earns weekly honor
Hawaii Pacific junior right-hander Breanne Patton earned her fifth weekly Pitcher of the Week honor yesterday after helping the Sea Warriors to two wins over Hawaii-Hilo on Saturday.
She allowed two earned runs while striking out five in 10 2⁄3 innings as HPU claimed a share of the PacWest championship and earned the automatic berth into the NCAA D-II tournament.
>> Melissa Awa, HPU: The sophomore infielder out of Kamehameha hit .600 in the doubleheader against the Vulcans, going 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored.
>> Maile Kim, HPU: The junior utility also went 3-for-5 in the doubleheader against the Vulcans, with a double, a grand slam, five RBI and two runs scored.
HPU wins Commissioner’s Cup
Thanks to earning a share of the PacWest softball title and a second-place finish in baseball last week, Hawaii Pacific has clinched the conference’s Commissioner’s Cup, the overall all-sports championship, for a second consecutive year.
The Sea Warriors shared the softball championship, finished second in women’s tennis, men’s soccer, baseball and women’s cross country. HPU also was third in volleyball, women’s basketball and men’s cross country, and shared third in women’s soccer.
Standings through Sunday
|Hawaii Pacific||19||12||.6131||2 1/2||26-21|
|Acad. of Art||6||21||.222||13 1/2||6-39|
x-clinched conference title
Hawaii Pacific 12, Academy of Art 5
Hawaii Pacific 6, Academy of Art 1 (7)
Hawaii Pacific 12, Academy of Art 11
Hawaii Pacific 22, Academy of Art 3 (7)
|Acad. of Art||17||11||.607||6||29-20|
y-automatic NCAA tournament qualifier
Hawaii-Hilo 4, Dixie State 1
Dixie State 7, Hawaii-Hilo 3
Hawaii Pacific 2, Hawaii-Hilo 1
Hawaii Pacific 9, Hawaii-Hilo 3
Hawaii-Hilo 8, Chaminade 0 (5)
Hawaii-Hilo 8, Chaminade 2
NCAA Division II West Region
Hawaii Pacific 5, Grand Canyon 0
HPU advances to NCAA Round of 16, May 11, Altamonte, Fla.
PacWest: Academy of Art at Hawaii-Hilo (2), 4 p.m., Wong Stadium.
PacWest Magazine: 10 a.m., pacificwestsports.tv.
NCAA Division II Men’s West Regional: Hawaii-Hilo at second round, Albuquerque, N.M.
UHH Vulcan Update: 11:15 a.m., 850-AM.
HPU Sports Beat: 2 p.m., 1500-AM
PacWest: Academy of Art at Hawaii-Hilo (2), noon, Wong Stadium.
NCAA Division II Men’s West Regional: Hawaii-Hilo at final round, Albuquerque, N.M.
UHH Vulcan Update: 11:15 a.m., 850-AM.