Rainbow Wahine softball team whips Fresno St. to win WAC title
Hawai'i hammered five home runs in a 14-3 win against Fresno State to capture its first Western Athletic Conference tournament championship today in Las Cruces, N.M., earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Kaia Parnaby (19-6) went the distance, allowing three runs and six hits for the Rainbows (44-13) in a game called after five innings because of the league's mercy rule.
The Rainbows sent nine batters to the plate in stormring to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first. Kelly Majam, the WAC tournament most valuable player, ignited the inning by leading off the game with her nation-leading 28th home run of the season to center and Amanda Taualii capped it with a grand slam to center.
Hawai'i tacked on four in the second on a two-run double from Jenna Rodriguez and two-run home run by Alex Aguirre to make it 10-0. That chased FSU starter Mackenzie Oakes (11-8), who was charged with 10 runs (nine earned) in 1 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs (39-19).
The Rainbows added a run in the third on a two out, bases-loaded hit batsman by Aguirre.
Hawai'i made it 12-0 on a two out, solo home run by Traci Yoshikawa in the fourth inning.
Melissa Gonzalez joined the home run binge with a two-run shot to center in the fifth to make it 14-0 and increase the Rainbow Wahine's NCAA season home run record to 141.
Gonzalez was named to the WAC all-tournament team, along with Katie Grimes and Jessica Iwata.
Andrea Ortega's three-run, two out homer to center pulled FSU to 14-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
The Rainbow Wahine will find out who will be their first-round opponent when the field is announced at 4 p.m. Hawai'i time tomorrow on ESPNU.
WAC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Kathy Cox, Boise State
Kelli Fangonilo, San Jose State
Haley Gilleland, Fresno State
Melissa Gonzalez, Hawai'i
Katie Grimes, Hawai'i
Natasha Hawkins, San Jose State
Jessica Iwata, Hawai'i
Michelle Moses, Fresno State
Caitlin Stiglich, Fresno State
Lela Work, Boise State
MVP: Kelly Majam, Hawai'i