Pacific Softball Hangs Tough But Falls Twice To No. 20 Hawai'i
Playing their final doubleheader of the 2013 season, the Pacific softball team dropped a pair of games to the No. 20 ranked and Big West champion Rainbow Wahine of Hawai'i, 3-1 and 5-2, on Friday, May 10. The losses dropped the Tigers to 28-27 overall and 12-11 in Big West play while Hawai'i improved to 42-11 on the year and 19-4 in conference play as it claimed the regular season title in its first year back in the Big West.
Game 1: (20) Hawai'i 3 - Pacific 1
In what boiled down to a pitchers duel between the Rainbow Wahine's ace Kaia Parnaby and sophomore Dani Bonnet, the Tigers found themselves on the wrong side of one bad pitch and with it one tough loss. For seven innings, Bonnet matched the conference's top pitcher stride for stride, even picking up six strikeouts to Parnaby's five. However, the sophomore hurler made one errant pitch in the top of the sixth inning and it cost her two runs when Jazmine Zamora sent the first pitch of her third at bat over the right field wall to give the Rainbow Wahine the late game lead.
For Parnaby, the Hawai'i ace gave up just one run to the Tigers in the bottom of the second inning when sophomore Alex Steinmehl laced a ball through the right side of the infield to plate junior Taylor Petty from second. Petty had reached on a leadoff infield single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Outside of the second, the Tigers threatened twice more in the game putting a runner at second in the fourth on a double by senior Amy Moore and the fifth on a single and a sacrifice by Steinmehl, but could not convert them into runs.
In all, Bonnet (6-11) suffered the loss as she gave up five hits and three runs, two earned, while striking out six and walking four. Parnaby (36-5) gave up six hits to the Tigers in seven innings and just one run while striking out five and walking none.
Game 2: (20) Hawai'i 5 - Pacific 2
Just as they did in the opening game of the doubleheader, the Rainbow Wahine used the long ball to do the bulk of their damage in game two as they hit home runs in the third and the seveth innings to score three of their five runs. Just as Bonnet did in game one, freshman Carly Mortensen went a complete seven innings for the Tigers in the circle, only to come out on the bad end of one big inning to suffer the loss.
Leading 1-0, the Tigers gave up four runs on four hits with two outs in the third to fall behind Hawai'i for good. In the inning, Keiki Carlos got the big fly to left after a walk put the tying run on base. Three more hits includng a two-RBI double by Zamora finished off the inning for Hawai'i and put the Tigers down 4-1. Hawai'i tacked on a fifth run on their second home run of the game when Leisha Li'ili'i led off the top of the seventh with a solo home run.
Offensively, the Tigers picked up eight hits and two runs, but could not muster the timely hit with runners on base. In the first, the Tigers picked up an RBI single from junior Taylor Petty after senior Megan Hom had led the inning off with a single through the right side. Two innings later, Pacific responded to the four run third with one run of their own when junior Megan Foglesong doubled off the wall in left to plate freshman Sara Anderson who had reached on a leadoff single. Foglesong's double was the epitome of Pacific's near misses as off the bat the ball looked to be going out on a line only to strike the top of the fence and fall at the base of the wall. Foglesong would be stranded at second, a theme for Pacific which left runners in scoring position in four of the last five innings.
In all, Mortensen (4-4) took the loss as she threw 7.0 innings of work while giving up eight hits and five runs. She also walked seven and struck out three. Loie Kesterson (4-4) picked up the complete game victory as she also gave up eight hits but held the Tigers to just two runs while striking out three and walking two.
Pacific will complete its 2013 season on Saturday, May 11, as the Tigers look to salvage the final game of their three game set against No. 20 Hawai'i at Bill Simoni Field at 12:00 pm. Prior to the game the Tigers will say goodbye to their senior class as Megan Allen, Nikki Armagost, Megan Hom, and Amy Moore play for the final time in the Orange and Black.