(HAWAII ATHLETICS) —The University of Hawai'i softball team (19-16, 3-3 Big West) swept Saturday's doubleheader over Cal Poly en route to sweeping its first conference series since 2015. Hawai'i overpowered the Mustangs in the first game, 11-1 in five innings and then won in dramatic fashion on a three-run, walk off home run by Rachael Turner for a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Hawai'i 11, Cal Poly 0 (5)
Box score (HTML)
UH senior pitcher Dana Thomsen earned her second straight complete game shutout win of the series. She scattered three hits with three walks and a strikeout in five innings of work. Thomsen improved to 11-10 on the year and 2-1 in the Big West.
Hawai'i started the game off with a bang, getting three home runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 7-0 lead. Danielle Garcielita led things off with an infield single to short deep in the hole. Britnee Rossi then drew a walk to but two runners on base for Nicole Lopez who then launched a three-run home run over the left-centerfield fence. It marked Lopez's sixth homer of the season. Callee Heen followed with a solo shot over the rightfield fence to give UH a 4-0 lead. It was Heen's 12th home run of the season and 21st of the sophomore's career. The Mustangs then made a pitching change, bringing in Shelby Jeffries for Lindsey Chalmers. Cheeks Ramos was plunked and Rachael Turner drove a single through the right-side of the infield. A wild pitch pushed both runners into scoring position. After a strikeout, Heather Cameron hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in pinch runner Courtney Hiruko. Alyssa Sojka then lifted her first home run of her UH career over the leftfield fence. The two-run bomb gave UH a 7-0 lead after one inning of play and was Sojka's first extra-base hit of the season.
For the second time this year, Lopez launched her second home run of the game. Her second roundtripper sailed over the centerfield fence to drive in Rossi, who was hit by the pitch earlier in the inning. UH led 9-0 after two complete innings.
Hawai'i added two more runs in the third. With runners at first and third, pinch runner Jordian Hicks stole second, but the throw to second bounced into centerfield allowing Chardonnay Pantastico to score from third. Later, Garcielita lined an opposite field single to left to drive in Hicks from third for an 11-0 lead.
Cal Poly's Lindsey Chalmers suffered the loss, dropping her record to 12-7. She gave up four runs on three hits with a walk to start the game. She did not record an out. Shelby Jefferies moved from designated player to pitcher and threw one inning, allowing three runs on two hits with a strikeout. Steffi Best threw the final 3.0 innings and allowed four runs on four hits.
For Hawai'I, it marked the first mercy rule conference game since last year's opening series against UC Davis, 9-1 in six innings on March 31, 2017. It was the first five inning mercy rule win in the BWC since defeating UC Davis 13-1 on May 8, 2015.
Hawai'i 3, Cal Poly 2
Box Score (HTML)
The Mustangs took their first lead of the series on a two-RBI double by Hailey Martin down the rightfield line for a quick 2-0 lead.
Cal Poly's starting pitcher, Dakota Casper was very efficient, retiring the first 10 UH batters in a row. Rossi broke up the no hitter with a single off the glove of a diving leftfielder. But the 'Bows remained scoreless through the first six innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, Cal Poly got the first two outs quickly on a fly out to left and a foul popout to first. But Heen was then walked and Ramos kept the 'Bows alive with a single to left to put two runners on for senior Rachael Turner. Tuner came through in the clutch by blasting her first career home run for to lift UH to a 3-2 win walkoff style. It was the second time this year that Turner came through with the walk off hit for the win and the second time that UH hit a three-run walk off home run.
UH rookie pitcher Dominique Martinez earned her first collegiate win in just her second career start. After giving up the two runs in the first, Martinez settled down and held the Mustangs in check for the rest of the game. She allowed two runs on six hits with three walks. Martinez improved to 1-1 overall and in conference.
Cal Poly starter Dakota Casper threw a solid game, holding the 'Bows to just three hits—two of which came in the 7th—with a walk. Casper fell to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in conference.
Hawai'i will head back to California to take on UC Santa Barbara in a three game conference serieswith a single game on Friday, April 13 followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, April 14.