Gonzales gargantuan for Vuls softball with 12 shutout innings in two wins

  • Leah Gonzales pitched a three-hitter and the came on in relief Sunday as UH-Hilo swept Chaminade 5-0 and 3-0 on Oahu.

UH-Hilo’s Leah Gonzales is often the change-of-pace arm that’s best used coming out of the bullpen.

On Sunday, Gonzales set the pace, and it was a dominant one that Chaminade couldn’t keep up with.

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With softball ace Valerie Alvarado unavailable, the senior right-hander pitched 12 shutout innings and allowed only five hits as the Vulcans returned to their doubleheader sweeping ways, beating the Silverswords 5-0 and 3-0 in Kaneohe, Oahu.

“She did an awesome job,” coach Callen Perreira said. “One key was that Chaminade hadn’t seen her this year.”

It might not want to see her again.

Gonzales (3-0) started the day with a three-hitter in which she struck out five.

“She moved the ball in and out and up and down,” Perreira said. “She had a devastating changeup to keep them off-balance.”

Coming off their first defeat a day earlier, the Vulcans (10-1 PacWet) scored in the first when Kiarra Lincoln tripled and scored, and Vevesi Liilii hit a two-run double in the third.

Skylar Thomas tripled and scored in the fourth, finishing 2 for 3, and Lincoln drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Freshman Sara Bhatt started against the Silverswords (7-7) in the second game, but struggled with her command, walking five, and left after the first two hitters in the third reached on singles.

With UHH leading 2-0 courtesy of an RBI single and sac fly off of the bat of Chloe Domingo, Gonzales came on and struck out four, allowing only two singles.

All told, she unleashed 149 pitches and didn’t walk a batter. The only base runner to reach third against her was one she inherited.

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“She has come through for us a lot in relief, but today we knew we didn’t have Val, and she stepped up,” Perreira said.

Darian Obara was 3 for 4 with three runs scored in the second game, giving her four hits and four runs on the day. Liilii was 2 for 4.

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