(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i softball team (21-21, 5-9 Big West) overpowered UC Riverside 11-0 in a six inning-mercy rule win to open a three-game Big West series on Friday afternoon. Hawai'i's Dana Thomsen fired a two-hit shutout while Nicole Lopez led the 'Bows on offense going 2-for-3 with her first career grand slam at the Amy S. Harrison Field in Riverside, Calif.
Thomsen (13-13, 4-4 BWC) gave up just two hits in the complete game win. She did not allow a walk while striking out five in her fifth shutout of the season. Only one Highlander runner was able to reach third base in the game.
Hawai'i took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Nicole Lopez came to the plate with runners and first and second and two outs. She laced an RBI single to drive in Jennifer Iseri from second for the game's first run.
UH's Callee Heen ripped a double to right-centerfield to start the fourth inning. Cheeks Ramos followed with a bunt single to put runners at the corners. Brittnee Rossi then drove an opposite-field double to the left-center gap to drive in Heen. Alyssa Sojka kept things going by drawing a walk to load the bases. Madison Veldman then reached first on an error on the pitcher which allowed Ramos to score. Later with two outs and the bases still loaded, Lopez launched her first career grand slam over the leftfield fence. It marked Lopez's eighth homer of the season and her 25th of the junior's career. UH lead UCR, 7-0.
Hawai'i added four more runs in the sixth to take an 11-0 lead. Velman led off the inning with a single up the middle. She later scored on a sacrifice fly by Iseri. UH then loaded the bases again with a Garcielita hit, a Lopez walk, and a single by Rachael Turner. Heen reached on a fielder's choice to home that erased Garcielita at the plate. Lopez then scored on a wild pitch and then Ramos cleared the bases with a two-RBI single to right that drove in both Heen and pinch-runner Katelyn Mahelona.
UC Riverside starting pitcher Hailey Dolcini threw the first 4.0 innings. She allowed seven runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Reliever Rebecca Faulkner threw the final two innings, allowing four runs on five hits with two walks.
The win snapped UH's five game losing streak. It was UH's fourth mercy rule win of the season.
The two teams will conclude their three-game Big West series with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon beginning at 10:00 a.m. HT.