(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i softball (14-5, 0-0 Big West) shut out Niagara, 3-0 in Game 8 of the Outrigger Resorts Spring Fling Tournament on Friday night. Senior pitcher Brittany Hitchcock recorded a career-high 15 strikeout en route to a complete-game shutout on Friday night at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Hitchcock at one point struck out 10-straight batters between the first and the fourth innings. She faced just 22 batters, one over the minimum for the game. She spaced two hits while issuing no walks. Hitchcock improved to 6-3 overall. It is the most strikeouts for a Hawai'i pitcher since former UH All-American, Kaia Parnaby fanned 17 against Syracuse in 2013. Hitchcock's previous career-high was 12 against New Mexiso last February.
It was a pitcher's duel through the first four innings between Hitchcock and Niagara's Karsen Cotton. Neither team scored until UH was able to breakthrough in the bottom of the fifth posting three runs. With one out, Sissy Pantastico started the rally by drawing a walk. Pinch-hitters Mikaela Gandia-Mak and Victoria Ayala ripped back-to-back doubles to drive in the first two runs. Two batters later after a Niagara pitching change, Nicole Lopez got a hard-hit single that ricocheted off the third baseman allowing Ayala to score for the 3-0 lead.
Niagara starter, Cotton took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the year. She allowed three runs on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Jenna Patterson threw the final 1.2 innings giving up a hit and a walk with one strikeout.
The Outrigger Resorts Spring Fling Tournament continues on Saturday with five games on slate. Hawai'i will play the final two games scheduled for 4:00 and 6:00 pm in a rematch against Niagara and SIUE respectively.