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UH softball team rallies past Portland State

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The University of Hawaii softball team erased a 10-run deficit and rallied past Portland State 13-12 in the Easton Desert Classic on Saturday in Las Vegas.

UH trailed 11-1 going into the bottom of the fifth but stormed back and tied the game with a six-run outburst in the sixth inning highlighted by Alyssa Villalpando’s grand slam. Sharla Kliebenstein drove in Keiki Carlos with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to give UH (6-3) its third win of the tournament.

Portland State threatened to end the game in the fifth after hitting three home runs in a seven-run fifth inning to build a 10-run cushion.

Leisha Li’ili’i took the first cut into the lead with a two-run homer. The eight-run rule was still a possibility until Jazmine Zamora extended the game with a three-run homer to cut the deficit to five.

Portland State (2-6) added a run in the top of the sixth to push the lead to 12-6.

UH came back again and tied the game on Villalpando’s grand slam and won it in the seventh on Kliebenstein’s two-out single.

Loie Kesterson threw 2 2/3 innings and picked up the win in relief of starter Heather Morales.

UH is 3-1 in the four-day tournament and conclude their six-game run with a doubleheader on Sunday against Nevada and Utah.

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