'Bows pour it on against Seattle, 9-1
BY Stephen Tsai
Drawing from its rainy-day fund, the Hawai'i softball team splurged on a 9-1 victory over Seattle in the opening round of the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational.
The game at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium was abbreviated to 4 1/2 innings because of the eight-run mercy rule.
Conquering the nagging rain and pesky Redhawk hitters, UH's Stephanie Ricketts allowed four hits and struck out a season-high 10 in five innings.
In the fifth, Ricketts lost the shutout on Jessica Amador's RBI double after it was ruled that Kelly Majam did not hold on to the flyball after crashing into the fence in center field.
"Hmm ... " UH head coach Bob Coolen responded to the call.
"Stephanie did really well," catcher Katie Grimes said. "She was on."
Ricketts relied mostly on curves through the first two tours of Seattle's lineup. Realizing that the Redhawks were waiting on that pitch, Coolen instructed Ricketts to expand her menu.
"I mixed in change-ups in the last inning," Ricketts said.
Grimes said: "It was terrible weather, but Stephanie pushed through it. She kept command of everything."
Hawai'i's Kanani Pu'u-Warren and Melissa Gonzalez blasted towering home runs, and Amanda Tauali'i went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
The Rainbows relied on self-generated power to solve Seattle pitcher Kelsey Reynolds.
Reynolds depended on offspeed pitches with movement.
"Because she's not an overpowering pitcher, we had to make an adjustment," Coolen said. "We had to move forward (in the batter's box), and self-generate the bat speed and power. It had nothing to do with the quickness of the pitch that was coming in. That wasn't going to propel the ball. It was self-generated bat speed that was going to propel it."
"This week's weight-lifting paid off," said Pu'u-Warren, who rocketed a solo shot in the second inning to make it 4-0. "I know our trainer got us into it. It was: lift heavy, hit home runs, win games."
Gonzalez, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth, decided to be patient.
"She wasn't throwing hard at all," Gonzalez said. "It was obvious when I first got up there. I was aiming for the moon. That's why I was way ahead of everything. I kind of waited, and this is what happened."
SEATTLE (1-9) 000 01—1 4 4
HAWAI'I (10-6) 310 5X—9 10 2
Stephanie Ricketts and Katie Grimes, Jocelyn Enrique. Hannah Klein, Kelsey Reynolds (1) and Jessica Amador. W —Ricketts. L —Klein.
Leading hitters: Seattle—Amador double. UH—Jessica Iwata 2 runs; Melissa Gonzalez homer, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Amanda Tauali'i 2-3, double, 2 RBIs; Jenna Rodriguez 2-3, double; Kanani Pu'u-Warren homer; Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu double.
WASHINGTON 6, EAST CAROLINA 0
Danielle Lawrie pitched a two-hitter with no walks and seven strikeouts, and drove in two runs as the Huskies (13-1) beat the Pirates (6-8). Washington's Bailey Stenton batted 2 for 2, and Shawna Wright homered.
EAST CAROLINA (6-8) 000 000 0—0 2 1
WASHINGTON (13-1) 000 042 X—6 8 0
Tony Paisley, Faith Sutton (6) and Kai Clark. Danielle Lawrie and Shawna Wright. W — Lawrie. L — Paisley.
Leading hitters: ECU—Charina Sumner double. UW—Lawrie 2 RBIs; Bailey Stenton 2-2; Wright homer.