UHH softball seeks aggressive approach at regional

UH-Hilo second baseman Darian Obara runs to catch a line drive to second during a game against Hawaii Pacific at Walter Victor Field in Hilo on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

With a little luck, the worst part of the UH-Hilo’s softball team’s trip to regionals is pau.

Coach Callen Perreira called the Vulcans’ travel day “terrible.”

UHH left Hilo on Monday at 8:30 a.m., and the 4 1/2 hour-layover in Honolulu was a bear.

“By the time we got to Los Angeles, got our vans, dealt with traffic,” Perreira said. “Let’s put it this way. The girls didn’t get to sleep until about 3 a.m.

“We got some rest Tuesday and a practice. The girls did very well.”

The true test comes Wednesday as the Vuls try catch up to Anna Kasner’s fastball. Perreira wants his lineup to be wide awake, and then some, when the UHH faces Western Washington at 9 a.m. Hawaii time Wednesday in the first round of the Western Regional. Kasner, a senior, carries a 13-3 record and 1.62 ERA for the fourth-seeded Vikings.

“She throws hard with a rise ball,” Perreira said. “We we need to be able to lay off the rise ball and be aggressive early in the count in the strike zone.

“We want to show them we are not timid and come out swinging with the bats.”

He said senior Valeria Alvarado (5-4, 2.19) will start in the circle for the Vulcans.

A loss would send UHH into an elimination game later in the day. Senior Leah Gonzales’ pitching role will be determined by whether or not she’s used in a relief role in the opener.

Western Washington is batting .318 as a team with 21 home runs, including six off the bat of shortstop Tatum Dow. The fifth-seeded Vuls are hitting .306 with eight homers.

A total of seven Vulcans earned their degrees last weekend, so – win or lose – Perreira wants UHH to enjoy its first regional appearance since 2013.

“It’s really exciting to be here,” he said. “Only 48 teams in the country and six in the West are here. We want to represent our school, our conference and our state.”

Wednesday

Game 1: No. 4 Western Washington vs. No. 5 Hawaii Hilo, 9 a.m.

Game 2: No. 3 Northwest Nazarene vs. No. 6 Central Washington, 11:30 a.m.

Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (Elimination Game), 2 p.m.

Thursday

Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. No. 1 Concordia Irvine, 9 a.m.

Game 5: Winner Game 2 vs. No. 2 Biola, 11:30 a.m.

Game 6: Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 5 (Elimination Game), 2 p.m.

Friday

Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 9 a.m.

Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 6 (Elimination Game), 11:30 a.m.

Game 9: Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 (Elimination Game), 2 p.m.

Saturday

Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9, 9 a.m.

Game 11: Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 10 (if necessary), 11:30 a.m.