(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i softball team (6-7, 0-0 Big West) played its home opener and began the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament on Wednesday night with a 5-0 loss to No. 15 California. Hawai'i starter Dana Thomsen got the start and suffered the loss, dropping her record to 3-4. It was the "Grand Unveiling" of the newly renovated Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
In the second inning, after two outs, Heather Cameron hit a single up the middle and Cheeks Ramos reached on a walk. Both runners moved into scoring position, but Cal squelched the rally with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the fourth, Rachael Turner ripple a two-out double to left-centerfield but was stranded there as the inning ended with a strikeout.
In the top of the fifth, the Golden Bears rallied on two outs to score four runs. Jazmyn Jackson had a two-RBI single and was followed by Mikayla Coelho who cranked a two-run home run
In the top of the sixth, UH pitcher Brittany Hitchcock came in relief of Thomsen in the circle. Hawai'i got the first two outs on groundouts, but a single, a wild pitch followed by another single by Lindsay Rood allowed Krysten McCue to score to give the Golden Bears a 5-0 lead.
Hawai'i's Thomsen threw the first five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Hitchcock fired an inning and two-thirds allowing a run on two hits with a strikeout. Dominique got the final out of the top of the seventh.
California pitcher Kamalani Dung earned the win to improve to 8-0. She threw the first four-and-one-third innings. Dung did not allow a run but gave up three hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Zoe Conley came into the game and earned the save, tossing the final two-and-two-thirds innings. She gave up one hit, had no walks and struck out five.
Prior to the start of the game, there was a brief ceremony recognizing key people in the renovation of the stadium. From the State Legislature, senate president Ron Kouchi and Senator Brian Taniguchi and from the House of Representatives, Representative Richard Onishi were on hand for the first home game of the season. The crew responsible for the renovation – Alex Kwon (Paradigm Construction - owner), Terry Mcfarland (Architects Hawai'I – Principal), Ross Richards (UH construction manager) and Bruce Teramoto (UH project manager) was all recognized for their hard work with UH athletics director David Matlin and head coach Bob Coolen.
Over 25 Hawai'i softball alumnae were also in the house to help celebrate the opening of the renovated stadium that was originally named the Wahine Softball Field.
The Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament continues with three games on Thursday, Mar. 1. UH will end the day with a single game against Longwood at 6:00 pm at the Rainbow Wahine Softball
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