comscore Wahine stick to routine despite being on the road | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Wahine stick to routine despite being on the road

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
    UH Wahine softball team loses to Long Beach State 49ers 14-7 in the first game of a double header. This is Kelly Majam' heading home after hitting a solo home run for UH's first run in the 1st inning.

Living in hotels and hustling through airports generally don’t foster a sense of routine.

Despite the inherent challenges of an extended road trip, the University of Hawaii softball team has managed to maintain its regular practice regimen leading up to the NCAA tournament, thanks to some mainland hospitality.

After closing the regular season on Saturday, the Rainbow Wahine stayed in Stockton, Calif., through the weekend and learned on Sunday they’d play in the Seattle regional, which opens Friday with a matchup against Minnesota.

Between that announcement and Tuesday’s flight from Sacramento to Seattle, the team stayed on track in its preparation with the aid of Pacific head coach Brian Kolze.

Kolze, whose team was swept by UH last week, made the school’s weight room available to the Wahine on Monday and opened the Tigers’ field for their practice on Tuesday.

Upon arriving in Washington, Seattle University coach Dan Powers allowed the Wahine to hold their customary Wednesday batting practice session at the Redhawks’ Logan Field.

"The kids were wondering, ‘are we going to be able to get a practice in? Are we going to be able to get a lift in? Are we going to be able to do what we’ve done up to this point that has been successful?’" UH head coach Bob Coolen said.

"Rather than try to reinvent the wheel and work out in a hotel weight room and practice on a side street somewhere that has a big field, Brian was very accommodating at UOP and that really sustained our routine."

The Rainbow Wahine landed in Seattle late Tuesday night ranked 20th in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll and 23rd in the Softball Collegiate Top 25.

UH will get its first chance to practice at Husky Softball Stadium today before facing Minnesota on Friday in their first game of the double-elimination regional.

The Wahine played in temperatures in the high 90s during their regular-season finale against Pacific last Saturday. It’s only expected to be in the low to mid 60s in Seattle this weekend, so having two full days in the Northwest figures to help the players acclimate.

"It’s just being aware of your body and how long it’ll take to warm up in colder weather. It’s something we’re going to get used to," UH pitcher Kaia Parnaby said.

The team had some free time for sightseeing around Seattle after Wednesday’s practice, but the schedule will be far more regimented starting with today’s session. The NCAA allows each team an hour in the batting cage and 90 minutes on the field.

While UH is feeling more at home on the road, Minnesota is well accustomed to travel. The Golden Gophers had their home opener on April 6 and played just six games at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium this season. They went 5-1 at home and had five other games canceled.

Minnesota is making its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2003, coming off a third-place finish in the Big Ten’s regular-season standings and a runner-up showing in the conference tournament. Friday’s game figures to feature a matchup of two of the nation’s five 30-game winners. Parnaby is 37-5 and Minnesota’s Sara Moulton is 31-10.

While most of the regionals open on Friday, the NCAA tournament officially begins today with first-round games in the Eugene, Ore., regional.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up