HONOLULU—The University of Hawai'i softball team wrapped up its non-conference schedule, splitting a doubleheader to conclude the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic. Hawai'i's Nicole Lopezpropelled UH to a 3-1 win over Niagara with a pair of home runs in the first game, but fell 6-2 in the tourney finale to No. 4 Alabama on Saturday afternoon at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Hawai'i 3, Niagara 1
The Purple Eagles struck first in the first with a solo home run by Tara Driver for a 1-0 lead.
Hawai'i, however answered right back. Brittnee Rossi led off the home half of the first with a single up the middle. Nicole Lopez followed by blasting her ninth home run of the season over the left-centerfield fence.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lopez launched her second home run of the game. Her solo shot to right-centerfield gave the 'Bows a 3-1 lead. It marked the fourth-time in her career that Lopez has hit a pair of home runs in a game.
UH's Izzy Dino got the start and threw the first 3.1 innings. She allowed the one run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Brittany Hitchcock earned the win, throwing 3.2 shutout innings. She did not allow a hit and recorded one strikeout.
No. 4 Alabama 6, Hawai'i 2
Alabama scored a pair of runs in the top of the second. Maddie Morgan hit an RBI single that drove in Schroder. Later, Clare Jenkins scored after a throwing error to first from short allowed her to score from third.
The Crimson Tide added three more runs in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead. Morgan scored off a fielding error on the second baseman. Later, Bailey Hemphill drove in two runs with an RBI-single to center. On the play, the ball went past the centerfielder and rolled to the fence. Hemphill tried to leg it out to third, but was cut down on a throw from Rossi to Lopez at third.
In the bottom of the sixth, Alyssa Sojka blasted a two-run home run over the left-centerfield fence to drive in Samantha Thomas who had singled earlier in the inning.
Alabama tacked on one final run with two outs in seventh. Reagan Dykes battled at the plate with a 10-pitch at-bat before lining a single up the middle to drive in Kaylee Tow from third for the 6-2 lead.
Hitchcock fired a complete game in the loss. For the day, she threw 10.2 total innings. Against Alabama, she allowed six runs—only two earned. She scattered seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Alabama's Sarah Cornell (11-0) also tossed a complete game for the win. She allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.
Hawai'i now has 12-days before they open their Big West Conference season with a three-game series against Long Beach State on Friday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m.
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