Rainbow Wahine win WAC tourney opener, tie NCAA home run record
The University of Hawai'i softball team tied the NCAA home run record and had to rally three times before beating stubborn San Jose State, 16-8, today at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.
The top-seeded Rainbow Wahine (42-12) trailed 3-0, 7-5 and 8-7 before rallying for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 12-8 lead.
They scored four more runs in the sixth for a 16-8 lead when the game was called with one out because of the eight-run rule. Kelly Majam's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth gave Hawai'i 134 homers on the season, tying the NCAA record set by Arizona last year.
UH will advance to the winner's bracket and play tomorrow against Fresno State, which scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat Boise State, 5-4. The game is scheduled for 10 a.m. HST can seen live on KFVE and heard on ESPN 1420 AM.
Hawai'i hit six homers today, including two by Melissa Gonzalez, who also drove in six runs.
UH needed every homer.
Down 8-7 going to the bottom of the fifth, UH's Katie Grimes homered to tie it at 8.
Traci Yoshikawa walked and Jessica Iwata then singled. Jenna Rodriguez followed with a run-scoring single for a 9-8 lead and Alexandra Aguirre then followed with a three-run homer and a 12-8 lead.
UH led 5-3 after two innings, but No. 5 San Jose State (33-24) scored four runs in the top of the third to lead 7-5.
Kanani Pu'u-Warren's solo homer in the bottom of the third cut the deficit to 7-6. Gonzalez's RBI double that scored Majam tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Rainbow Wahine went on to load the bases in the fourth, but couldn't convert after striking out and grounding out to end the inning.
UH pitcher Stephanie Ricketts escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth when SJSU grounded into an inning-ending double play. The Spartans loaded the bases again in the top of the fifth, but managed just one run.
Ricketts got the win but struggled, issuing seven walks, hitting a batter and allowing five earned runs in five innings. Kaia Parnaby pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the Rainbow Wahine.
Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the first inning and two-run homer in the second for Hawai'i, which came into the game with 128 homers for the season.
Live stats are available for all Hawai'i games at http://www.sidearmstats.com/hawaii/softball/index.htm . All Hawai'i games can also be heard on 1420AM.