University of Hawaii freshman Alyssa Villalpando’s controversial single in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Rainbow Wahine a 1-0 win over Utah tonight.
No. 20/23 UH survived the extra-inning battle when Villalpando hit a grounder up the third-base line and the home plate umpire ruled the ball touched a Utah player in fair territory before going foul. Sharla Kliebenstein scored on the play and UH won its eighth straight game to open the Chevron Spring Fling Tournament.
UH senior Kaia Parnaby struck out eight and threw her third one-hitter in her last four starts and the Rainbow Wahine improved to 19-5 heading into a matchup with No. 4/5 California on Thursday.
Parnaby and Utah freshman Kayce Nieto both took shutouts into the eighth inning, bringing the international tiebreaker rule into effect. With a runner on second to start each inning, Parnaby struck out the side in the eighth on 10 pitches.
Kliebenstein began the bottom of the eighth on second and went to third on Jazmine Zamora’s sacrifice bunt. The game ended on the controversial call on Villalpando’s grounder. Utah coach Amy Hogue and her staff argued the call to no avail.
The Spring Fling continues Thursday with UH and Call meeting at 6 p.m.
The Golden Bears defeated No. 15/19 Baylor 3-0 in today’s first game. Syracuse ended Utah’s 12-game unbeaten streak with a 3-2 win in the second game.