UH's Iwata earns national softball honor
University of Hawai'i shortstop Jessica Iwata has been named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week.
Iwata, a freshman from Līhu'e, Kaua'i, is the first Rainbow Wahine softball player to receive the national honor.
Iwata batted .600 (12 for 20) with six home runs, including a pair of grand slams, and 17 RBIs in five games against Utah State and Boise State.
She had a 1.600 slugging percentage and .636 on-base percentage, and her eight RBIs in a 12-1 win over Boise State Saturday set a school record and tied a Western Athletic Conference mark. Her three home runs in that game also tied UH and WAC records.
Iwata will take a .398 (51 for 128) batting average, 13 home runs, 41 RBIs and a team-high 16 doubles into this weekend's three-game series against Louisiana Tech.
UH HIRES ASSISTANT
Jon Kiester, a Hawai'i Pacific alum and former Hawai'i Tsunami player, has been hired as an assistant coach for the University of Hawai'i women's program.
Kiester spent the past five seasons as the head coach at Missouri S&T.
Previous to that Kiester was an assistant coach for four seasons at Oregon, where he helped recruit Hawai'i prep standouts Nicole Garbin, Mele French and Sarah Yoro.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to return to the Islands," said Kiester, who earned a bachelor's degree in history and captained the soccer team at HPU. "I'm happy to be able to be involved in the UH program and hope to help the program return to the top of the WAC."
UH HOSTS RACES
Ke'ehi Lagoon will be the site of the 11-team Pacific Coast Sailing Conference Dinghy Championships Saturday and Sunday. The University of Hawai'i's coed team is hosting for the second time in four years.
Hawai'i finished second in its last two regattas. The runner-up finish at last weekend's PCCSC Team Race Championships in Redwood City, Calif., earned the Rainbows a berth in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Team Race National Championship, which will be held June 1 to 3 in Madison, Wis.
Stanford won the regatta with 16 points, and Hawai'i had 12. Sailing for the Rainbows, who clinched their first berth in the nationals since 2005, were Tahnee Allman, Darla Baldwin, Zachary Hester, Lani Johnson, William Petersen, Hannah Tuson-Turner and Ryan Wild.
UH will look for another nationals berth this weekend. The top four finishers qualify for the ICSA Dinghy National Semifinals in two weeks. The No. 1 and No. 3 finishers go to Seattle, while the Nos. 2 and 4 teams travel to Charleston, S.C. The top 18 teams then advance to the ICSA Dinghy Championships, in Madison, Wis., June 3 to 5.
Races begin at 10 a.m. this weekend and run until approximately 4 p.m., at UH's Marine Education and Training Center at Ke'ehi Lagoon. To get to the center, take Sand Island Access Road and make a right after the bridge.
UH FINISHES LAST
The University of Hawai'i men's golf team finished 20th in the 20-team U.S. Intercollegiate yesterday at the Stanford Golf Course. The Warriors shot 311 in the final round for a 54-hole total of 936.
Fourth-ranked Oregon won with 276—839. The Ducks passed third-ranked Washington and San Diego State on the final day. Five top-10 teams competed in the tournament.
Oregon's Daniel Miernicki earned medalist honors with 64—202.
For the fourth time this season, sophomore TJ Kua led UH. He tied for 51st at 220, firing a 71 — with three birdies — yesterday.
Also competing for Hawai'i were junior Kamden Brakel (80—239), sophomore Jared Sawada (79—241) and freshmen Cory Oride (81—242) and Daniel Koge (89—254).
Kekoa Lee pitched a four-hitter with 11 strikeout as Hawai'i-Hilo beat Dixie State, 5-1, last night to salvage a split of a Pacific West Conference doubleheader at Wong Stadium.
Ronel Trias had three hits, scored two runs and drove in one for the Vulcans (14-20, 10-14).
Quinn Boyer had two hits and an RBI for the Red Storm (26-15, 16-12).
In the first game, Brett Adams had two hits and two RBIs as Dixie State won, 8-3.
Johnathan James hit a two-run single for Hilo, which was held to four hits by Preston Grimes (6 2/3 innings) and Todd Morlock ( 1/3 inning).
UH BANQUET SET
This year's University of Hawai'i tennis banquet, for the Rainbows and Rainbow Wahine, will be April 25, at 4 p.m. at Murphy's Bar & Grill. The cost is $25 per person, which can be paid at the door.
Those interested should e-mail assistant coach Mike Burger (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday.
In other tennis news:
• Former Hawai'i resident Peter Burwash received the 2009 Faculty Emeritus Award from the U.S. Tennis Association. The award recognizes "those who have made significant contributions as a speaker and presenter over a number of years." Past winners include Dennis Van der Meer and Vic Braden.
Burwash established Peter Burwash International in 1975 and runs programs at more than 50 hotels around the world. He has also written 10 books and hundreds of magazine articles.
• The inaugural Kahiau charity golf tournament will be July 23 at Hawai'i Prince Golf Club. All proceeds support the "growth and development of junior tennis in Hawai'i." Call 585-9526 for more information on playing and sponsorship.