Gauchos Unable to Overcome No. 22 Hawai’i

Kathryn Pilpil (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Kathryn Pilpil (Photo by Tony Mastres)

HONOLULU, Hawaii – No. 22 Hawai'i (14-0) used a complete team effort to defeat visiting UC Santa Barbara (7-13) on Saturday afternoon in front of a packed stadium at the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

Kaia Parnaby (6-0) tossed a complete game shutout and allowed just three Gaucho hits while striking out nine. She did not allow a walk.

With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Sarah Robinson hit a long ball over the center field fence to give Hawai'i the early 1-0 lead. Jessica Iwata followed with a base hit to left field and then a pitch hit Alex Aguirre to put two runners on base. The Gauchos were able to get out of the inning when Sharla Kliebenstein grounded out to the shortstop.

At the top of the next inning, Kathryn Pilpil posted the Gauchos' first hit of the game with a two-out rolling infield grounder. Parnaby notched her third strikeout of the game to get the third out and to leave the UCSB runner stranded.

The Rainbow Wahine added to their lead early in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu sent a base hit to right field. The UCSB coaches decided to bring in Shelby Wisdom to relieve Andriana Collins, who had pitched a complete game earlier in the day. The freshman ran into trouble immediately as Dara Pagaduan hit a home run off of her first pitch to the left field foul pole, stretching the Rainbow Wahine lead to 3-0.

Wisdom was then called for a series of illegal pitches, which allowed Kelly Majam to walk and then advance all the way to third base. Collins was brought back into the circle and grabbed the second out of the inning when Kayla Wartner grounded out to second base, but Majam was able to tag home on the play, pushing the advantage to four runs.

At the top of the fourth with two outs, Lainey DePompa tallied the Gauchos' second hit with a single to left field. DeJanee Moore followed with a base hit of her own, hit right over the top of Hawai'i shortstop Jessica Iwata. Parnaby, however, managed to hold off the Gauchos as she struck out the next batter.

The Rainbow Wahine added another run at the bottom of the fifth when Majam led off with a solo homer over the right field fence. 

It looked as though UCSB was going to face further troubles in the sixth when Leisha Liilii hit a single through the right side with two outs and then a pitch hit Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu. Pagaduan then reached first base on balls to load things up. Collins remained calm and grabbed the third out on a ground out to second base to keep the Rainbow Wahine from doing any further damage.  

Collins (3-8) suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs on seven hits. She walked two and struck out two in six innings of work.

The Gauchos will conclude action at the Bank of Hawai'i on Sunday. The seeding for Sunday's games will be determined by the result of Saturday's final game between No. 20 Florida State and No. 22 Hawai'i.