(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i softball team (9-7, 0-0 Big West) shut down UTEP (9-11, 0-0 Conf. USA), 5-0 on Saturday night on Day Four of the Texaco Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament. UH starter Brittany Hitchcock fired a complete game shutout and improved to 5-3, while the UH offense was sparked by Callee Heen who went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run on Saturday night at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Hitchcock threw seven inning and did not allow a run in her second-straight, complete game shutout. She scattered seven hits with no walks with nine strikeouts.
Nicole Lopez led off the bottom of the second with a single up the middle. Heen then launched her team-leading fourth home run over the centerfield fence. The sophomore now has 13 in her career.
In the bottom of the third, Danielle Garcielita and Bree Soma got back-to-back hits with one out, but were stranded as UTEP turned a 5u-3 groundout double play to stymie the 'Bows' rally.
Hawai'i loaded the bases and scored three runs on just one hit in the bottom of the fourth. Heen drove a single through the rightside of the infield. Heather Cameron then walked and Cheeks Ramos was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With Jenna Kumabe at bat, the catcher dropped a foul ball for an error and gave Kumabe life. She ended up drawing a walk to force pinch runner Courtney Hiruko across the plate. Kira McKechnie then entered the game to relieve UTEP's Allie Johnson. UH's Britnee Rossi kept things going as she drew another walk to drive in Cameron. Garcielita then hit a grounder to second with the bases still loaded to drive in pinch runner Chardonnay Pantastico to give UH a 5-0 lead.
UTEP's starter, Julia Wright took the loss, giving up two runs on four hits with two strikeouts in three innings. Johnson lasted one-third of an inning, allowing three runs on one hit with two walks. Closer McKechnie threw the final two and two-thirds innings. She did not allow a hit or run with three walks and four strikeouts.
Hawai'i continues the Texaco Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament on Sunday, March 4 with a doubleheader to end the tournament. The 'Bows are slated to play UTEP again at 2:00 pm followed by James Madison at 4:00 pm at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.