Vuls softball fails to bring back pod title from Oahu

The number six held no magical significance for UH-Hilo’s softball over the weekend on Oahu

The Vulcans returned to Hilo on Sunday still one game shy of clinching the Pacific West Conference Hawaii pod championship after getting swept by Hawaii Pacific in a pair of one-run games, 4-3 and 3-2, in a third consecutive doubleheader in Kaneohe.

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For the most part, UHH’s pitching held up during its first six-game series of the season, never yielding more than four runs in game. The Vuls (13-8) managed 21 runs, with nine of those coming during a 13-hit barrage Saturday, in losing four times.

UHH, which has lost 7 of 10, is still on control of the pod. It gets three more cracks at the Sharks (5-11) on May 6-7 in Hilo, and the Vuls could secure a berth to the regional-qualifying PacWest pod tournament before that. HPU, which has won six of eight, could secure it for UHH with one win during a four-game series next weekend against Chaminade (10-10).

Not even hot hand Leah Gonzales could put in on ice for the Vuls in the second game, which was lost on Cherise Horita’s walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh off of reliever Sara Bhatt (4-2).

UHH’s only run came in the sixth when Vevesi Liilii led off with a double and came around to score on Chloe Domingo’s bunt single and a throwing error.

The Vuls outhit the Sharks in both games, but Malia Torres (5-5) and Megan Wilson combined to strand eight runners in the second game. Gonzalez worked four innings and allowed two hits – including Cieana Curran’s solo home run – and three walks and three strikeouts.

Torres also won the opener, going the distance in the first game, surviving nine hits and two walks.

Freshman Nia Trinidad (0-1) made her first career start for the Vuls, calming down after three walks, two hits, a wild pitch and a passed ball led to three HPU runs in the first inning.

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Kamaile Labasan made it a one-run game with an RBI single in the seventh, but she was thrown out trying to advance to second to end the game.

Angel Prewitt, who had two hits in each game, and Domingo also brought in runs with hits, but UHH stranded 11 runners, leaving the bags full in the fifth and sixth. Kiarra Lincoln and Markie Okamoto each finished with two hits

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