The University of Hawaii softball team swept a season-opening doubleheader on Thursday to give head coach Bob Coolen his 800th win with the Rainbow Wahine.
UH junior Sharla Kliebenstein delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the Rainbow Wahine to a season-opening 2-0 win over Ole Miss in the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic.
The UH offense managed just one hit but Kliebenstein’s single provided all the support UH pitcher Kaia Parnaby needed in a one-hit shutout. Parnaby allowed just two base runners and struck out 11.
The Wahine then defeated UAB 7-2 in the second game to give Coolen win No. 800. Kelly Majam drove in two runs and freshman Keiki Carlos picked up the win in her college debut. Parnaby struck out eight in three innings of relief.
UH managed just one hit off of OIe Miss pitching. Shelby Jo Fenter struck out 12 before running into trouble in the sixth.
Majam walked with one out and stole second. After a strikeout, Leisha Li’ili’i and Jessica Iwata walked to load the bases.
Kliebenstein then lined a 1-2 pitch into left field to score Majam and pinch-runner Kiani Wong with UH’s first two runs of the season.
Parnaby retired Ole Miss in order in the seventh to close out the win.
In the second game UAB, which upset No. 16 Washington earlier in the day, took a 2-1 lead in the third inning when Kate Armstrong looped a two-out single into shallow left to score Caitlin Attfield from second.
The Wahine tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Majam’s RBI double into left center to score Brynne Buchanan from first. Majam went to third on the throw to the plate and scored when a pickoff throw went into left field.
Kliebenstein doubled to lead off the fourth, advanced on a bunt and scored on Alyssa Villalpando’s fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop. Majam pushed the UH lead to 5-2 with an RBI single and Brynne Buchanan later scored from third when Majam got caught in a rundown.
Carlos walked the first two hitters of the fifth inning and was relieved by Parnaby. After the runners moved up on an illegal pitch, Parnaby struck out the next three hitters to get out of the inning.
UH added to the lead in the bottom of the inning on Kaile Nakao’s two-out RBI single and Parnaby closed the game with two more strikeouts, giving her 19 in the doubleheader.
The tournament continues Friday at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium with UH facing St. Mary’s (0-2) at 6 p.m. and No. 16 Washington (1-1) at 8.