Hawaii senior Keiki Carlos launched a tie-breaking home run in the top of the seventh inning to power the Rainbow Wahine softball team to a 3-2 win over UC Riverside in the first game of today’s Big West doubleheader in Riverside, Calif.
Rainbow Wahine second baseman Tayana Mata drove in UH’s first two runs and Carlos’ second home run of the season gave the Wahine (20-22, 4-5 Big West) their first series win of the Big West schedule.
UH right-hander Kanani Aina Cabrales struck out nine, walked none and gave up seven hits while improving to 8-8.
UC Riverside averted a sweep by winning the series finale 2-0 behind freshman Anessa Cepeda’s complete-game effort. Cepeda held UH to four singles, struck out two and overcame four walks in just her second appearance of the season and picked up her first win.
UCR (28-14-1, 4-5 Big West) bunched three singles with two out in the bottom of the third and scored on RBI singles by Jenna Curtan and Natalie Sanchez.
UH’s Brittany Hitchcock (10-10) gave up six hits, struck out five and walked none in the loss.
UH returns to Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium next week to face Big West leader Cal State Fullerton (34-10, 9-0) in a three-game series starting Friday.