U.H. softball hits two grand slams in 1st inning


HONOLULU-The University of Hawai’i softball team blasted four home runs–including two grand slams–to power past San Jose State, 14-1 in five innings. Leisha Li’ili’i and Lindsey Willmon both launched grand slams in the first inning and then in the third Keiki Carlos and Ulu Matagiese both drilled two-run homers. It was UH’s second-highest run total of the season. Kanani Aina Cabrales evened her record at 5-5 with a complete game win as Hawai’i improved its record to 10-8 on the second day of the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament.

The Rainbow Wahine batted around in the first inning loading the bases twice with the same outcome. Willmon got beaned to start things and Kayla Wartner drove a single up the middle. A groundout to short pushed both runners into scoring position before Heather Morales drew a walk to load the bases. For Li’ili’i, the opposite-field blast was her third home run of the season and 41st of her career. It was Li’ili’i’s second career grand slam. Her first one came against Memphis in her freshman year (Feb. 16, 2012). After a ground out to the pitcher, UH loaded the bases again on a Matagiese walk; a sharp single to short by Rachel Lack and Tayana Mata was plunked to set the table for Willmon. San Jose State then changed pitchers, but Willmon crushed the ball over the leftfield fence for UH’s second grand slam of the inning. It marked Willmon’s third home run of the season and 14th of the sophomore’s career and her first career grand slam.

In the second, UH added two runs on an RBI-single by Sarina Jaramillo and a bases loaded walk to Mata to push Hawai’i’s lead to 10-0 after two complete innings.

Hawai’i kept things rolling in the third when both Carlos and Matagiese lifted a pair of two-run home runs. It was Carlos’ second round-tripper of the season and the 16th of her career and for Matagiese, it was her first homer of the season and second of her UH career. After Three complete innings, UH led 14-0.

The Spartans broke up the shutout as they tallied one run in the fifth on an RBI-fielder’s choice by Chelsie Jenner to score Taylor Purdy.

Aina Cabrales threw all five innings for her fifth complete game of the year. She gave up one run on three hits with two walks and four strike outs.

The Spartans’ Katelyn Linford suffered the loss, getting the first two outs, but was unable to get out of the first inning. She gave up seven runs on three hits with two walks. Colette Riggs threw the final 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits with five walks and two strike outs.

Hawai’i continues the Pepsi Tournament on Saturday with a single game against Longwood at 3:00 pm.

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