The University of Hawai’i softball team (11-10, 5-1 Big West) is back on the road this week to take on UC San Diego (17-13, 5-1 BWC).

Both Hawai’i and UC San Diego are coming off Big West series sweeps, leaving UH, UCSD and Cal State Fullerton tied atop the BWC standings with identical 5-1 records.

The three-game series between the Rainbow Wahine and the Tritons will begin with a single game on Friday, April 1 at 2:00 p.m. HT followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, April 2 beginning at 10:00 a.m. HT.Hawai’i is coming off a three-game sweep over CSUN. UH edged out the Matadors, 4-3; 4-3; and 3-1 for UH’s first conference sweep since winning their three-game series vs. UC Riversidide on April 27-28, 2019.

Hawai’i first played the Tritons last year when UCSC became a member of the Big West. Last year, UH and UCSD split their four-game series, 2-2. 

Catcher Izabella Martinez led UH last week against the Matadors, hitting an even .400, going 4-for-10 at the plate. She had one RBI and also scored a run in the series. The freshman has started the last 19-consecutive games at catcher. In conference, she is second on the team hitting .300 (6-for-20) with two runs scored and three RBI.

Since moving from the outfield to third, utility player Ka’ena Keliinoi has been solid both on offense and defense. She has started the last seven games at the hot corner, and she leads UH in conference games with a .333 batting average with a team-BWC-high three doubles and 11 RBI. In UH’s first game at UCSB, she went 2-for-3 with a 3-RBI double and a grand slam. Keliinoi’s seven RBI was just one shy of UH’s program record of eight, set by both Jessica Iwata (2010) and Sharla Kliebenstein (2013). Keliinoi is also ranked No. 1 in the league and 9th in the NCAA as “Toughest to Strikeout” – she has only struck out once against Baylor (3/9/22).

The smooth fielding senior shortstop, Nawai Kaupe continues to shine both on offense and defense. Currently, she leads UH with a .355 bating average with team highs of 11 runs scored, 22 hits, five home runs, nine stolen bases, a .597 slugging percentage, a .459 on-base percentage plus an OPS of 1.056. Kaupe also leads the ‘Bows with seven multiple hit games and had a team-long six-game hitting streak.

Sophomore Maya Nakamura has started all 21 games at second base and she has proven her mettle on offense and defense. She is second on the team with a .323 batting average and leads UH with 14 RBI and 10 walks. Last week, she hit first inning home runs in both the first game and third game vs. CSUN. Overall has scored nine runs, with three doubles and three home runs.

Senior pitcher Ashley Murphy notched her first win of the season last week in UH’s second game vs. CSUN. She tossed four-plus innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts. She is now 1-2 for the season.

GAMES 22-24 – HAWAI’I (11-10, 5-1 BIG WEST) VS. UC SAN DIEGO (17-13, 5-1 BIG WEST)
GAME SCHEDULEFriday, April 1 at 2:00 p.m. HT  |  Saturday, April 2 at 10:00 a.m. HT (DH)
LocationTriton Softball Field (750) – San Diego, Calif.
Live Video StreamGame 1  |  Game 2  |  Game 3
Live StatsUCSD Live Stats Link
Game NotesHawai’i  |  UC San Diego