Hawaii sophomore Lindsey Willmon’s three-run home run backed up Brittany Hitchcock’s complete-game performance and the Rainbow Wahine softball team opened the season with a 3-1 win over Saint Mary’s on Thursday in the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic.
Hitchcock, who sat out last season due to a back injury, gave up four hits, struck out four and walked none to earn the win in her UH debut.
Willmon drove in Hawaii’s first runs of the season with her homer to left field with two out in in the bottom of the fourth inning.
After pop outs on the first two pitches of the inning, Leisha Lii’li’i singled to right and Heather Morales chopped a single into left and an error allowed both runners to advance. Willmon took a pitch before launching the next high into the net beyond left field.
Saint Mary’s broke through against Hitchcock in the top of the sixth when Katelyn Mamiuzuka doubled to right and scored on Hailey Sparacino’s two-out double to left.
Loralie Fitzpatrick doubled with one out in the seventh to bring the tying run to the plate. But Hitchcock got a ground out to second and UH third baseman Kristina Akiona snared a low line drive to end the game.
The three-day tournament continues Friday with the Rainbow Wahine scheduled to face No. 25 DePaul at 5 p.m. and No. 4 Oklahoma at 7.
Oklahoma pulled away from DePaul 9-2 in Thursday’s first game.