It was payback night at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
After dropping a lopsided game to California to open the Jack in the Box Spring Fling tournament Wednesday, Hawaii claimed the rematch with a 6-2 win over the Golden Bears on Saturday.
In the final game of the night, Pacific — which was on the short end of a UH comeback on Thursday — then held off the Rainbow Wahine 4-2 in the final game of the night.
UH played most of the UOP game without coach Bob Coolen, who was ejected in the third inning for arguing a ruling. He declined comment after the game, deferring to associate coach Dee Wisneski, who took charge of the team for the remainder of the game.
UH’s rematch with Cal was pushed back a day due to Friday’s rainy weather, and the start of Saturday’s game was again delayed by rain.
After Cal took a 2-0 lead in the second, UH rallied for six runs in the bottom of the third inning and Rainbow Wahine left-hander Loie Kesterson held the Bears without a hit over the final five innings in her second straight complete-game performance.
"Getting that extra day letting my arm rest it helped. I felt good when I was warming up," said Kesterson, who held Cal to four hits and struck out four. "I was just focused. I was working on staying in my rhythm and my big thing right now is throwing one pitch at a time, don’t get too ahead of myself."
UH gave Kesterson the lead with a six-run rally in the bottom of the third, highlighted by freshman Sarina Jaramillo’s three-run homer.
The Wahine scored their first run in the inning when Sharla Kliebenstein was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Kaile Nakao drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to center, and Ulu Matagiese followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield to score Kristina Akiona with the go-ahead run.
After a pitching change, Jaramillo worked the count full before launching her first career home run.
"The confidence is starting to build," Wisneski said. "Loie pitched a really good game, the hitters were seeing the ball and we were getting people on and scoring. We didn’t leave people on base like we did (against Pacific)."
UH took a 2-1 lead against Pacific with four consecutive singles in the bottom of the third with Keiki Carlos and Leisha Li’ili’i driving in runs.
During a timeout, Coolen got into an argument with first base umpire Vince Price and was ejected from the game.
Wisneski said UOP’s pitching coach had called for the timeout to visit with pitcher Dani Bonnet. But the umpires said the Tigers weren’t charged with a mound visit, drawing a complaint from Coolen, "and it just escalated," Wisneski said.
UOP battled back with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth, taking the lead on Nicole Zapotoczny’s solo homer in the fourth.
UH loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth with a single and two walks. But UOP pitcher Dani Bonnet got a popup, a force out at the plate and a called third strike to end the threat.
Jazmine Zamora led off the seventh with a single, but Bonnet again protected the lead to close out the win.
Carlos went the distance for UH giving up 11 hits.
|At Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium|
Nisa Ontiveros, Stephanie Trzcinski (3) and Victoria Jones. Loie Kesterson and Sharla Kliebenstein. W—Kesterson. L—Ontiveros.
Leading hitters—Cal: Kylie Reed, RBI; Jordan Wallace, HR; Mary Lee, 2B.
Hawaii: Keiki Carlos, 2-3; Leisha Li‘ili‘i, 2-3, 2B; Sharla Kliebenstein, RBI; Kaile Nakao, RBI; Ulu Matagiese, RBI; Sarina Jaramillo, HR, 3 RBIs.
Dani Bonnet and Alex Steinmehl. Keiki Carlos and Kayla Wartner. W–Dani Bonnet. L–Carlos.
Leading hitters–Pacific: Gabby Goyette, 2-4; Melanie Habib, RBI; Nicole Zapototczny, 3-4, HR; Megan Foglesong, 2-4, 2 runs; Cassidy Gustafson, 3-3, 2 2Bs; Steinmehl, RBI; Taylor Brink, RBI. Hawaii: Jazmine Zamora, 2-4; Carlos, 2-4, RBI; Li’ili’i, RBI; Ulu Matagiese, 2-2.
Saturday’s early games
James Madison 3, California 0
James Madison 4, Pacific 2, 8 innings
California vs. James Madison, 9:30 a.m.
James Madison vs. Hawaii, 12:30 p.m.