Rainbow Wahine blank Eagles, 8-0
By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Michael Tsai
Continuing their team's record pace for home runs, Kate Robinson hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and Tyleen Tausaga added a solo homer in the seventh as the University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine softball team cruised past Boston College, 8-0, last night at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Justine Smethurst earned the win, giving up just two hits in seven complete innings.
UH (22-5) has hit 39 home runs so far this season, just three shy of the school record of 42 set last year, with three months still left in the season.
"We're in that groove," said UH coach Bob Coolen. "We had a tournament last week after a week off and we didn't have that hitting eye. Now that we're playing game after game after game, they're starting to hit their pitches. They know what it is. The ball is beginning to look like a kickball."
The Wahine jumped out in the first inning when Clare Warwick hit a single to left field, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kaulana Gould, then scored on a single to left by Tausaga that dropped just short of the outstretched glove of the Eagles' outfielder Danielle Pandolfo.
In the next inning, Brandi Peiler doubled off the centerfield wall. Valana Manuma followed with a double of her own down the third-base line to bring Peiler home for a 2-0 lead.
The Wahine squandered a chance to extend the lead in the fourth.
Boston College freshman pitcher Taylor Peyton walked Kate Robinson, gave up a line-drive single to left field by Peiler, and walked Manuma to start the inning before being replaced by senior Britney Thompson.
Thompson got the next three batters to ground out to end the Wahine threat.
In the fifth, Warwick singled to left and advanced to second on a grounder by Gould. Tausaga then hit a double to deep center to put runners at second and third. Robinson then swung on a low pitch and smashed a homer high over the left field wall to give UH a 5-0 advantage.
"It was a weird ball and but I knew that I hit it clean," Robinson said. "It was kind of a golf swing."
About the only thing that could slow the Wahine last night was the weather, and it did in the form of a 5-minute rain delay in the top of the sixth.
Tausaga's solo homer in the seventh gave UH a 6-0 lead. Robinson followed with a single to left, prompting another Eagles' pitching change as sophomore Savana Lloyd replaced Thompson.
She wouldn't last long.
Lloyd threw consecutive wild pitches to move Robinson to third, walked Peiler, then threw another wild pitch that allowed Robinson to trot home. After another wild pitch, Lloyd gave up a single to Manuma that scored Peiler.
Tausaga went 3 for 4 for the night, breaking out of a slump dating back to last week's Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament.
"Everything is coming together," Tausaga said. "I guess I'm finally learning that they're not going to pitch to me so I have to take what I can get."
The Wahine face Oregon State for the tournament title today at 2 p.m. at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Reach Michael Tsai at email@example.com.