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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 12, 2006

Penn St. beats UH in tourney finale, 2-0

Advertiser Staff

Ashley Esparaza pitched a four-hitter and retired the last 14 batters she faced as Penn State defeated Hawai'i, 2-0, last night to capture the Hawaiian Airlines Spring Fling Tournament at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

Esparaza (5-1), named the tournament MVP, struck out five and walked one to outduel Hawai'i's Justine Smethurst (5-5).

Smethurst took a no-hitter into the fifth, when she gave up both runs on three hits and an error. She struck out six and did not walk a batter.

The Rainbow Wahine's best scoring threat came in the first when Clare Warwick doubled off the top of the center-field fence with one out. One out later, Tyleen Tausaga was intentionally walked. Valana Manuma then singled to left, but Jen Williams threw out Warwick at the plate to end the inning.

Penn State (13-3) finished the tournament with a 5-0 record. Hawai'i (12-10) tied for second with Santa Barbara with 3-2 records.

In earlier games:

Hawai'i 5, UNLV 4: Valana Manuma batted 4 for 4 and Courtney Baughman (4-2) pitched a six-hitter with three strikeouts to beat the Rebels. Baughman gave up three runs on four hits in the sixth when UNLV closed to 5-4, but set the Rebels down in order in the seventh.

Hawai'i built a 5-1 lead with three runs in the fifth. Brandi Peiler, Manuma and Kaulana Gould all singled to fill the bases. Gail Matsushima was hit by a pitch to force a run home, and Kristi Yoshizawa hit a sacrifice fly to center for the second run. Kate Robinson then singled up the middle to make it 5-1.

Santa Barbara 2, Longwood 1 (8 Innings): Jennifer Davis pitched a five-hitter with 13 strikeouts as Santa Barbara held off Longwood in extra innings. Shelby Hensler scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth on a groundout by Christine Ramos.

Longwood 4, Detroit Mercy 0: Rachel Mills, who worked eight innings in the game preceding this one, pitched a three-hitter and Caitlin Hooe batted 3 for 4, including a double and homer, for Longwood.

UNLV 5, Detroit Mercy 0: Shannon Crisp and Kelly Griego teamed on a one-hitter, Crisp batted 3 for 3 with three RBIs to lead UNLV.