Hawaii Pacific captures Division II softball West Super Regional
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
KANE'OHE — The Hawai'i Pacific softball team needed a sweep against Chico State today, and the Sea Warriors got it behind the right arm of Sherise Musquiz.
Musquiz pitched a pair of complete games for HPU, which won 11-2 and 5-3 in the NCAA West Super Regional at Howard A. Okita Field.
HPU advances to the eight-team national championship tournament next week at St. Joseph, Mo.
In the second game against Chico State, HPU scored four runs in the first and held on for victory. Musquiz scattered 11 hits – 10 were singles – with no walks and four strikeouts.
The Sea Warriors' Nicole Morrow had an RBI single in the first and a run-scoring double in the fourth, which put her team ahead 5-1.
The Wildcats scored two in the fifth, and stranded runners at the corners in each of the final two innings.
Musquiz, a 6-foot senior right-hander, fielded a comebacker and threw to first baseman Breanne Patton for the series-clinching out.
HPU, the Pacific West Conference champion and ranked No. 3 in the NFCA Division II Top 25 poll, will leave Monday for the national championship tournament in St. Joseph, Mo. The Sea Warriors will open Thursday against Wayne State (Mich.) (52-11), the winner of the Midwest Super Regional. That game is scheduled for noon HST.
In today's opener, the Sea Warriors walked away with the victory.
HPU (44-8) drew 11 walks off four Wildcats pitchers – with seven of the base runners coming around to score – in a game shortened to five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule.
Musquiz pitched a five-hitter with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Sea Warriors, the designated visiting team for the opener, had a four-run third, five-run fourth and two-run fifth.
HPU No. 2 hitter Casey Sugihara and No. 5 hitter Musquiz each walked three times.
Chico State, the fourth-place team out of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, issued six free passes in the fourth, including consecutive bases-loaded walks to Kozy Toriano, Patton and Melissa Awa.
Toriano also had a two-run triple in the third and a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Chico State (33-21) scored twice off Musquiz in the third to get within 4-2. Courtney Brock had an RBI single and Christine Johnson came in on a throwing error on the HPU catcher on a double steal with runners at the corners.
On Friday, Chico State won, 5-0, in the opener of the best-of-three format.