Kristina Akiona hit a three-run homer and Kanani Aina Cabrales tossed a shutout in her Hawaii debut in the Rainbow Wahine softball team’s 8-0 win in five innings over No. 25 DePaul on Friday in the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic.
The Rainbow Wahine then closed the round-robin portion of the tournament on the opposite end of a shutout in a 7-0 loss to No. 4 Oklahoma.
UH (2-1) will be the second seed in Saturday’s bracket and will face Saint Mary’s (1-2) at 10 a.m. at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Oklahoma (3-0) takes on DePaul (0-3) at noon. The losers play for third place at 2 p.m. with the championship game to follow at approximately 4.
Aina Cabrales, a sophomore right-hander who transferred to UH from Georgia Tech, held DePaul to two hits, struck out three and walked none. She threw just 51 pitches, 36 for strikes, and faced two batters over the minimum.
The Wahine manufactured two runs in the bottom of the first to give Aina Cabrales a lead. After leadoff hitter Rachel Lack was hit by a pitch, Kayla Wartner dropped a bunt that was fielded by DePaul pitcher Mary Connolly who fired to first. Only problem, no one was covering the base and Lack and Wartner advanced on the error.
Lack then scored when Keiki Carlos reached on a fielder’s choice grounder and Leisha Li’ili’i followed with a single up the middle to score Wartner.
UH added to the lead with two more RBI grounders in the bottom of the third and went up 7-0 on Akiona’s three-run homer to center field.
UH brought the run rule into effect with two out in the bottom of the fifth when Heather Morales scored from second on Sarina Jaramillo’s single up the middle.
Oklahoma’s Shelby Pendley then held UH to two singles while striking out 10 and the Sooners pulled away in the sixth and seventh innings.
Oklahoma loaded the bases with two out in the top of the third when Lauren Chamberlain and Pendley walked. A wild pitch allowed Macey Hatfield to score the game’s first run before Hitchcock got a ground out to end the inning.
The Sooners broke away with a four-run sixth inning. After Erin Miller drilled a single into right field, Whitney Ellis and Kady Self followed with back-to-back doubles to right center.
UH left fielder Rachel Lack robbed Hatfield of a home run by reaching over the fence to snag the deep fly ball, limiting the damage, momentarily, to a sacrifice fly. But after a single and a walk, Chamberlain grounded a two-run single into left to give the Sooners a 5-0 cushion.
Oklahoma added two more runs in the seventh off of UH reliever Heather Morales and Pendley finished her night with three more strikeouts in the bottom of the inning.