Two Hawaii home runs helped support Kanani Aina Cabrales’ complete-game performance and the Rainbow Wahine softball team opened its Big West series at Cal State Fullerton with a 5-1 win on Friday at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif.
Keiki Carlos homered to lead off the top of the third inning and Rachel Lack went deep in the sixth. That was enough for Aina Cabrales, who held the Titans to five hits, struck out three and walked one.
UH improved to 22-15 overall and 3-1 in Big West play. Cal State Fullerton dropped to 24-14 and 2-2.
The series concludes with a doubleheader starting at 9 a.m. Hawaii time on Saturday. The doubleheader will be shown on ESPN3.
Carlos drove in UH’s first two runs, giving the Wahine the lead with her fifth homer of the season and driving in Lindsey Willmon with a bases-loaded infield single in the fourth.
The Wahine left the bases loaded and Cal State Fullerton broke through in the bottom of the fourth. Courtney Rodriguez reached on an error and advanced on a bunt. After Eliza Crawford singled, pinch-hitter Lexi Gonzalez delivered a sacrifice fly to right to cut UH’s lead to 2-1.
UH got the run back in the sixth when Lack led off the inning with her fourth home run of the season.
Kayla Wartner began the top of the seventh with a bunt single and was forced out on Heather Morales’ grounder. Pinch-runner Chenoa Au went to third on Leisha Li’ili’i’s single to right and Sarina Jaramillo followed with a sacrifice fly to center to give UH a 4-1 cushion.
After Willmon singled, Lack hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Shianne Brannan, who tried to beaat Willmon to the bag. But Willmon was called safe and Jordan Burton, pinch running for Li’ili’i continued around third to score on the play.
Aina Cabrales closed out the win in the bottom of the seventh to improve to 11-10. Christina Washington went the distance for the Titans and took the loss.