Hitting is largely a function of timing. And it appears the Hawaii softball team’s offense is hitting its stride at just the right time.
The Rainbow Wahine hit six home runs in a doubleheader sweep of San Jose State yesterday at SJSU Softball Field to close the regular season.
UH launched three homers in an 11-1 five-inning rout in the first game. The Wahine added three solo shots in a 3-1 win in the finale.
The Wahine (36-16, 14-7 Western Athletic Conference) will take a six-game winning streak to Fresno, Calif., tomorrow and enter the WAC tournament as the fourth seed. They’ll open defense of their tournament title against Utah State on Wednesday.
"We’ve been hitting really well the past two series and putting a lot of runs on the scoreboard," said center fielder Kelly Majam, who homered twice in the doubleheader. "It’s really been a team effort on the offensive side. … We’re very excited for next week."
While Hawaii stayed put in the standings with a three-game sweep of the Spartans (19-35, 5-16), they generated considerable momentum over the weekend in San Jose, Calif., winning two games by the mercy rule.
Shortstop Jessica Iwata homered in all three games of the series, launching a three-run shot in the first game yesterday and a solo homer in the second game. She went 5-for-7 yesterday with six RBIs.
Alex Aguirre started the long ball deluge with a solo homer in the second inning of the first game. Jenna Rodriguez hit UH’s sixth of the day in the sixth inning of the second game.
Majam moved up the UH career charts by both swinging the bat and leaving it on her shoulder. Majam hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning of the first game and led off the second game with her 39th career homer, passing Stacey Porter to claim second place on UH’s all-time list. She now trails only Kate Robinson, who hit 44 in her career. Majam also broke Tyleen Tausaga’s record for walks with her 77th.
"That’s very cool," Majam said when told of the marks. "Jessica is coming up pretty quick on the home runs. (The walks show) I have some patience at the plate sometimes."
UH pitchers Kaia Parnaby and Stephanie Ricketts were the beneficiaries of the offensive output. Parnaby gave up two hits, struck out seven and walked four over five innings as the Wahine ended the first game early thanks to the mercy rule.
Ricketts had eight strikeouts in the second game and earned her second win of the series in her return to her hometown.
HAWAII 11, SAN JOSE STATE 1
At San Jose State field
|Hawaii (35-16, 13-7)||110||45||—||11||11||1|
|SJSU (19-34, 5-15)||001||00||—||1||2||1|
Kaia Parnaby and Sharla Kliebenstein. Jennifer Ames, Alex Molina (5) and Amanda Schatz. W–Parnaby. L–Ames.
Leading hitters–Hawaii: Kelly Majam, 2-3, 2b, HR, 3 RBIs; Jasey Jensen 2-4; Jessica Iwata 3-4, HR, 5 RBIs; Alex Aguirre HR; Dara Pagaduan 2 RBIs. SJSU: Schatz 2b.
HAWAII 3, SAN JOSE STATE 1
At San Jose State field
|Hawaii (36-16, 14-7)||200||001||0||—||3||6||0|
|SJSU (19-35, 5-16)||000||001||0||—||1||5||0|
Stephanie Ricketts and Sharla Kliebenstein. Elyssa Fox and Amanda Schatz. W–Ricketts. L–Fox.
Leading hitters–Hawaii: Kelly Majam, HR; Jessica Iwata, 2-3, HR; Jenna Rodriguez, HR. SJSU: Markesha Collins, 2b, RBI; Cheryl Freitas, 2-3, 2b.