UH-Hilo roundup: Alvarado aces again as Vuls beat Sharks twice

If UH-Hilo ace Valerie Alvarado, who has been the most dominant arm in the PacWest Hawaii pod season, is in the softball pitching circle, good luck to the other team.

The senior right-hander fired a four-hitter, and the Vulcans defeated Hawaii Pacific 5-0 on Saturday at Howard Okita field, compiling her second straight shutout and running her scoreless streak to 22 innings.

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In Game 2, the Vulcans beat the Sharks 10-7, behind Leah Gonzales’ five innings of two-run ball.

Alvarado walked three and struck out four to improve to 3-0 and lower her ERA to 0.23 in 30 innings.

Kiarra Lincoln batted 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Vevesi Liilii had three hits, Markie Okamoto went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Kamaile Labasan had two hits for the Vulcans (8-0), who piled up 13 hits.

Malia Torres went the distance and took the loss for the Sharks (0-10).

Alvarado’s last run allowed was in the first inning against Chaminade on March 30 at Kealakehe High.

She finished that game with nine innings of one-unearned run ball for a no-decision in a 2-1 10-inning win.

Alvarado has surrendered only one earned run this season, which came in a 6-1 win in the first inning over HPU on March 14 at the Walter Victor complex.

Her unearned run streak stands at 29 innings. UHH doesn’t have a record for that category, but it’s highly likely that Alvarado is now a record holder.

She’s on track to shatter Leo Sing Chow’s single-season mark for ERA at 0.66 set in 2003.

However, Alvarado’s 0.23 ERA may come with an asterisk. The minimum requirement is 100 innings pitches.

“She on one of the best streaks, if not the best, I’ve seen,” coach Callen Perreira said. “She’s pitching really well. She had a good changeup, and her riseball got her out of big jams. She’s doing a nice job, throwing down and low pitches with her dropball.”

The streak is probably more incredible considering the fact that Alvarado pitches against the same opponents, HPU and Chaminade. They’ve got loads of intel on her and face her so often but still can’t score.

To that point, Perreira pointed to the Game 2 score.

“We’ve been playing each other so many times, that’s why the score was kind of big,” he said. “But we still won Game 2, so I’m happy about that. We used a different lineup, and they came through.

“We were up 5-0. They came back and tied it 5-5. Sara Bhatt couldn’t command her pitches, and we had an ace card with Leah Gonzales. They outhit us (10-8), but we had key hits at the right time.”

Alana Alvarez drew the start at first base and went 2 for 2 with two RBIs. Lincoln had three hits, Liilii and Chloe Domingo each had two RBIs.

In her first appearance, Gonzales walked one and whiffed three for the win. Bhatt gave up five runs in two innings.

The four-game series concludes with another doubleheader at noon Sunday.

Golf

Dustin Franko shot a 1-under 69 and the Vulcans grabbed a three-shot lead over Hawaii Pacific after the first round of the Hawaii Challenge at the Waikoloa Beach Course.

Franko owned a one-shot lead over HPU’s Keita Okada, while UHH’s Noah Lau was in third after carding a 71.

The Vuls will look to build off a 11-over 291 in Sunday’s final round. Chaminade was 37-over.

• Kaelyn Uchida shot a 77, which included two birdies, to improve by five strokes Saturday on day two of the RJGA Palm Valley Classic in Phoenix.

Uchida tied for 59th, Hironaga tied for 74th, and Goto tied for 99th. Tia Kualii shot an 87 and finished 104th in the final round.

Tori Hironaga shot a 78 and also improved by five shots, and Kasumi Goto shot 79 to help the Vulcans cut 21 strokes from their opening-round score, 311.

No. 9 Point Loma claimed the team trophy with a 582 total, No. 16 Oklahoma Christian was second at 588, and No. 4 Texas A&M-Commerce was third at 591. UHH was 21st at 663.

Point Loma’s Nicole Kaminski shot a low-round 68 for medalist honors.

UHH will next play at the WT Desert Invitational in Tucson, slated for Monday and Tuesday.

Tennis

The women’s team blanked Chaminade 7-0 Saturday at Keehi Lagoon Park to improve to 5-4.

Casydee De Mattos, a 2020 Hilo graduate, earned her first collegiate win with a 6-, 6-0 victory over Marissa Luna in No. 4 singles.

Chloe Teramoto, a 2020 Waiakea graduate, blanked Skye Hara 6-0, 6-0 in No. 6 singes.

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UHH’s other singles winners were Hikari Osaki def. Kayleen Lau, 6-2, 6-2; Carmelle Joyner def. Salamasina Tei, 6-0, 6-0; Hannah Highsmith def. Emily Ramirez Miranda, 6-0, 6-0.

In doubles, Highsmith/Carolina Alfonsin def. Tei/Luna, 6-1 in No. 2; Dfincescu/Osaki def. Haraga/Ramirez Miranda 6-0 in No. 3; Liner/Lau def. De Mattos/Teramoto 6-2 in No. 1.

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