Former University of Hawaii softball standout Nawai Kaupe has signed her first professional softball contract.
Kaupe, a four-year starter at shortstop for the Rainbow Wahine, closed out her UH career last month while earning first-team All-Big West honors and the title of conference Defensive Player of the Year.
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Next up for Kaupe is her professional softball career, which became official on Friday when the Maui High alumna signed with the Florida Vibe, an independent professional team that competes against international teams as well as teams from the Florida Gulf Coast League.
“It’s something that I can’t really describe, honestly, and it was more so just a dream than actually thinking that I could do it and everyone keeps on telling me to just play like you and when things happen, things happen,” Kaupe told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “I just went with the flow and couldn’t be more honored and thankful.”
The Vibe begins its inaugural season on Tuesday. As for what Kaupe hopes to bring to the team, she hopes it’s all in the name.
“Just a Vibe. Just to be me.” Kaupe said with a laugh. “Yeah, and just bring the passion and love that I have for the sport itself and I think that was always my goal. To bring Hawaii wherever I go and I think I can say that for a lot of athletes and a lot of people but definitely, it’s just a dream come true.”