HPU wins regional opener, 6-1
By Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
KĀNE'OHE — It was time off that was well spent.
The Hawai'i Pacific University softball team had not played a game in 18 days, giving the Sea Warriors time to focus on practices and the remainder of the season.
"We havent played in awhile, we were all anxious to get out here and on the field and play games," HPU's Maile Kim said. "Especially since this is the last part of our season, we just want to go out with a bang."
Kim drove in a run in the first inning, then later homered, and Sherise Musquiz threw a three-hitter to help the host and top-seeded Sea Warriors beat No. 8 Central Washington, 6-1, yesterday afternoon in the opener of the NCAA Division II West Regional at Howard A. Okita Field.
"Our defense made all the plays, Sherise pitched good, our hitting ... it all came around," said Kim, the designated hitter.
HPU (42-6) advances to play Cal State Monterey Bay (33-18) today at 11 a.m. The winner advances to tomorrow's final of the double-elimination tournament. The winner of this weekend's West subregional will meet the winner of the other West subregional being played at Sonoma State, next weekend.
Central Washington (37-14) plays Hawai'i-Hilo (35-15) in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m. The winner of that game will then play the HPU-CSUMB loser at 4 p.m.
Hosting is a luxury for HPU, who did not get to host one of the two West regionals last year despite a No. 2 seeding. About 200 fans showed up for yesterday's two games.
"It's awesome," said Musquiz, who is 26-1 this season. "Everybody loves to play at their home field, it's great."
Kim's two-run homer to left field that barely avoided the foul-line pole gave the Sea Warriors a 3-0 lead. Nicole Morrow's RBI single and Chante Tesoro's two-run single in the bottom of the sixth extended HPU's lead to 6-1.
"We're taking it one game at a time," Musquiz said. "We got to score runs and hopefully our defense will keep us in there."
ORTIZ NO-HITS UH-HILO
Diane Ortiz threw her first no-hitter of the season to help No. 4 Cal State Monterey Bay shut out No. 5 Hawai'i-Hilo, 8-0, in yesterday's opener.
"It's really nice, I wasn't expecting it, I didn't even know until after the game," Ortiz said of her no-hitter. "I felt really confident and calm today. Most of my pitches seem to be on today, maybe my change-up wasn't that great, but everything was good for the most part."
Ortiz also batted 2 for 3 and drove in the winning run to end the game in the bottom of the sixth . Nicole Garcia was 2 for 3 with a two-run homer.
Interim UH-Hilo coach Fred Entilla said his team needs to put the ball in play. Ortiz allowed two walks, including one to Tessa Truong in the sixth. Truong eventually advanced to third, but was Christina Pedroza grounded out to end the inning.
"Today is history, just come back harder tomorrow," Entilla said.