Rainbow Wahine break NCAA HR record in win, to play Fresno St. again for WAC title
University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine freshman Jessica Iwata hit a three-run homer in the top of the third inning today, breaking the NCAA single-season team home run record and igniting a 14-run inning en route to a 16-1 victory over Fresno State in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.
UH, which is unbeaten in the double-elimination tournament, will meet Fresno State again at 10 a.m. Saturday and will have two chances to win the WAC title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Should Fresno State beat UH Saturday, a winner-take-all game will be played at 1 p.m. Hawaii time.
KFVE is expected to televise one or both games Saturday, picking up a feed from the Bulldog Network.
Fresno State survived by beating Boise State, 6-5,later today. Earlier today, Boise State eliminated San Jose State.
Iwata's homer was the team's 135th of the year, breaking the NCAA single-season record of 134 set last year by Arizona and highlighting a 14-run third inning that also featured a grand slam by Kelly Majam.
UH, which hit six homers in a 16-8 victory over San Jose State Thursday, hit two today to make UH's total 136.
The game, which was called after five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule, was scoreless through the first two innings before the Rainbow Wahine broke through in a big way in the third.
Katie Grimes led off with a single to left. Brynne Buchanan then pinch ran for Grimes.
Traci Yoshikawa doubled to right, scoring Buchanan.
Majam singled and Iwata followed with a three-run homer to make it 4-0.
Alex Aguirre hit a run-scoring double; Amanda Tauali'i hit a run-scoring single, and another run was walked in for a 7-0 lead before Majam's grand slam made it 11-0.
It was second-year freshman Majam's team-leading 27th homer.
Aguirre lined a run-scoring single to left to make it 12-0. Kanani Pu'u-Warren added a run-scoring infield hit to make it 13-0.
Grimes, batting for the third time in the inning (she walked her second at-bat), singled to left for another run to make it 14-0.
In all, UH scored its 14 runs on 13 hits and an error and left the bases loaded.
The Rainbow Wahine added two more in the fifth.
Majam drove in a run on an infield grounder and Iwata's single scored Grimes to make it 16-0.
Stephanie Ricketts, who struggled by giving up five earned runs in five innings Thursday, pitched a three-hitter, allowing a run in the fifth and final inning for raise her record to 24-6.
Grimes batted 3-for-3 with two runs and two runs batted in; Iwata batted 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Majam, Aguirre, Pu'u-Warren and Jenna Rodriguez all had two hits. Majam drove in five runs.
In the elimination game, Fresno State broke a 2-2 tie with Boise State with two runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Boise State, the home team, scored one in the sixth and got a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to close it to 6-5 before Fresno State retired the side.
Boise State game ousted San Jose State, 6-5, in a game played after the UH-Fresno State game.