LAKE ELSINORE, Calif.—The University of Hawai’i softball team (2-5) came up just short, falling in both games by one run to Utah State and Army to open the Golden State Classic in Lake Elsinore, Calif.. Utah State held off Hawai’i 11-0 in the opener while Army hung on for a 7-6 win at the Rosetta Canyon Sports Park. In all, UH launched a combined seven home runs and 23 hits in Friday’s two games, but it was not enough to overcome early deficits. Both Callee Heenand Maya Nakammura led the Rainbow Wahine at the plate, going 4-for-7 on the day. Heen finished with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBI, while Nakamura also scored three runs with her first career home run and three RBI. Brittnee Rossi, Nawai Kaupe, Angelique “Cheeks” Ramos, Ka’ena Keliinoi, Heen (2) and Nakamura accounted for UH’s combined seven homers.
Utah State 11, Hawai’i 10
Hawai’i fell behind quickly, 3-0 in the top of the first. But Brittnee Rossi got a run back instantly, leading off the home half of the first with a solo home run to centerfield. It marked Rossi’s second home run of the season and 12th of the junior centerfielder’s career.
The Rainbow Wahine got another run on a two-out RBI single by Bree Soma. Soma’s hit went up the middle which allowed Kaupe to score from second. UH trailed 3-2 after two complete innings.
In the third, the Aggies added three runs to extend their lead to 6-2. Utah State began with back-to-back doubles for the first run. The Aggies then scored on a couple of errors—one on the catcher and one on the leftfielder.
In the bottom of the third, the Rainbow Wahine erupted for four runs to knot the score at 6-6. Maya Nakamura drew a one-out walk and Callee Heen followed by pulling a single down the rightfield line to push Nakamura to third. With runners at the corners, Kaupe launched her second home run of the season over the left-centerfeld fence to drive in three runs to tie the game up.
Utah State responded with a two-run, home run by Lexi Orozco to re-take the lead, 8-6.
In the sixth, the Aggies pulled away by tacking on three more runs. The first run came on a sacrifice fly. But the big blow was a two-run homer off the bat of G. Jimenez to pad Utah State’s lead to 11-6.
The ‘Bows rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the inning to cut their deficit to just one run. Sammie Ofoia and Soma led of with back-to-back singles. After a pair of fly outs to the outfield, Nakamura drilled a single to left to score Ofoia from second. Heen then lifted an opposite-field, three-run homer to left.
In the seventh, UH tried to rally. Ofoia drove a one-out, opposite-field double down the rightfield line, but was left stranded after Utah State got a strikeout and a foul fly out to left to thwart the UH rally and end the game.
Utah State’s A. Noble earned the win to improve to 2-1 on the season. She threw six innings allowing 10 runs on 14 hits with two walks and four strikeouts. D. Hull came in relief to earn the save, giving up one hit with a strikeout.
For Hawai’i, Isabella “Izzy” Dino suffered the loss, dropping her record to 1-3 on the season. She allowed seven runs on nine hits with a walk and a strikeout in 3.1 innings pitched. Amanda Ajari came in to throw the final 3.2 innings. She gave up four runs on seven hits with a strikeout.
Army 7, Hawai’i 6
In the first inning Hawai’i had two runners on with two outs, but Army was able to get Kaupe out at the plate trying to score on a grounder to third off the bat of Ramos.
Army opened the home-half of the first with a one out double followed by a two-run home run by T. Drayton to take an early 2-0 lead.
Both teams were retired in order in the second. But in the third, Kaupe drew a two-out walk. Nakamura followed by hitting her first collegiate home run to tie the score at 2-2.
The Black Knights responded by posting five runs in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and second and one out, M. Gilmore hit an RBI-single to start the scoring. Later with the bases loaded, another two runs scored on a fielder’s choice. M. Muffett then laced an RBI-double and G. Snyder hit a ground out to third to score the final run from third for the 7-2 lead.
Hawai’i answered bu getting four-straight hits to start the top of the fourth. Ramos led off with her first home run of the season. It marked her 11th home run of her career. Rachel Sabourin followed with a double down the leftfield line and Ka’ena Keliinoi launched her first collegiate home run to left to drive in Sabourin. Ofoia kept things going with a single to left. After a foul pop out to short, Army changed their pitcher, relieving Iannotti with Jolie Duong. Duong doused out the fire, getting a ground out to first and a line out to left to escape any further damage in the inning to preserve a 7-5 lead for Army.
UH was able to get another run back in the top of the fifth on Heen’s second home run of the day. She now has 41 home runs for her career.
Hawai’i’s Ashley Murphy suffered the complete game loss in her longest career appearance. She threw six complete innings, allowing seven runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Army’s E. Iannotti earned the win throwing the first 3.1 innings. She allowed five runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Duong came in and shut down the ‘Bows offense, allowing a run on a hit to earn the save.
Hawai’i will continue the Golden State Classic on Saturday. UH will face host San Jose State at 10:30 a.m. HT followed by Sacramento State at 3:00 p.m. HT. All games will be played at the Rosetta Canyon Sports Park in Lake Elsinore, Calif.