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UH softball team rallies past Pacific 8-7

Hawaii’s six-run rally in the fifth inning sent the Rainbow Wahine softball team to an 8-7 comeback win over Pacific on Thursday in the Jack in the Box Spring Fling Tournament.

The Rainbow Wahine fell behind 5-0 in the top of the first inning and trailed 7-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.

UH’s first five batters of the inning reached base and the Wahine cut the lead to 7-5 before Dori Ann Sugai doubled in a run. Freshman Ulu Matagiese drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with another double to right-center.

Loie Kesterson recovered from the shaky start to close out a complete-game victory and improved to 4-2. She struck out four, walked two and gave up 11 hits, five coming in UOP’s first-inning outburst, and stranded four UOP runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings.

The Tigers took the lead by stringing together four consecutive hits with two out in the top of the first.

With runners on first and second, Megan Foglesong and Bailey O’Mara delivered run-scoring singled and Alex Steinmehl followed with a two-run triple into the right-field corner. Cassidy Gustafson drilled another single up the middle to drive in the Tigers’ fifth run.

Jazmine Zamora’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the second inning gave UH its first run, but Shepard avoided further damage with a strikeout and a force out.

UH loaded the bases again in the third and Kristina Akiona scored on a wild pitch. But Shepard got two called third strikes to end the inning.

UOP extended the lead to 7-2 in the top of the fifth when Foglesong tripled and scored on Steinmehl’s squeeze bunt.

UH erased the deficit in the bottom of the inning, starting with singles by Lindsey Willmon and Akiona and Keiki Carlos’ double to left-center to score Willmon. Akiona then scored on an errant pickoff throw.

After two walks, Nakao delivered a sacrifice fly. Sugai’s double to left-center –the first hit of her career — scored Leisha Li’ili’i and cut UOP’s lead to 7-6.

Matagiese then lined a double to right center to score Sharla Kliebenstein and Sugai, giving UH the lead.

UOP put two runners on in the top of the seventh with a single and an error with one out. But a force out at third and a line out ended the game.

The tournament continues Friday with UH facing California in the final game of the day. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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