Lopez’s inside the park homer leads Wahine to win over Niagara


The University of Hawai’i softball team (17-7, 0-0 Big West) shut out Niagara, 1-0 on the opening day of the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic. Nicole Lopez hit an inside-the-park home run while pitchers Izzy Dino improved to 7-3 with the win and Brittany Hitchcock earned her first save of the season on Wednesday night at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Dino, who was making her third-consecutive start, threw five-plus shutout innings. She spaced three hits while walking none and striking out one. Hitchcock earned her first save since March 8, 2017 against Charleston Southern. She threw the final two innings, allowing just one hit with four strikeouts. In her two appearances against Niagara, she has fired 19 strikeouts in nine innings of work. It marked UH’s third shutout over Niagara over two tournaments.
In the third inning, Lopez raced around the bases after hitting an inside the park home run. She drove a hit past a diving rightfielder then touched all the bases as the ball rolled to the fence to give UH a 1-0 lead. It marked Lopez’s eighth home run of the season to tie Callee Heen for the team lead. It was her first homer of the inside-the-park variety in her career. Last season, Brittnee Rossi raced for two inside-the-park homers, the last coming against Cleveland State on March 15, 2018.
Niagara’s pitcher Karsen Cotton threw a complete game in the loss. She gave up the one run while holding UH to three hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
The Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic continues on Thursday with three games. Hawai’i will play the last game of the day against SIUE which is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

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