Vulcans sweep Academy of Art

ANTHONY AKAU/UH-Hilo Sports Information UH-Hilo softball players celebrate after defeating Academy of Art on Friday in Hilo.

After 17 games away from home, UH-Hilo Softball returned to the Vulcan Softball Field and continued Pacific West Conference, winning two doubleheaders over Academy of Art with scores of 6-1, 3-1, 7-1 and 4-1 on Friday and Saturday in Hilo.

Chloe Sales and Madison Rabe both threw one-run complete games in the first doubleheader as Victoria Macias drove in a pair of runs in each contest. Both game-winning scores were provided by the long ball as Lexie Tilton homered in Game 1 and Macias mashed a two-run blast in Game 2. Defensively, Jayda Favela was busy at shortstop, tallying up 10 total putouts and eight assists combined for the afternoon.


With the wins, the Vulcans continue to inch forward in the final stretch of the season toward the PacWest Conference Championships.

Chloe Sales made her eighth start of the season in the pitching circle and went the distance for her first complete game. It was a tough go at the start, leading off with a beaned batter followed by allowing a four-pitch walk and a wild pitch to further move runners over. Sales recovered with a strikeout, but a RBI single brought one runner across the plate before consecutive induced ground outs to shortstop ended the inning. That would be the only run of the game for the Urban Knights as Sales settled in and gave up just one more walk the rest of the way while nabbing three strikeouts and scattering six hits.

On the flip side, Jayda Favela drew a lead-off walk and came all the way around the horn to even the score on Rayna White’s sacrifice bunt that was thrown into right field.

With two outs in the bottom of the third, Lexie Tilton took a first-pitch offering for a no-doubt solo shot over the left field fence for the game-winning score.

Game was halted for a 20-minute rain delay in the top of the fifth inning.

The Vulcans added on with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, clustering hits from Maya Lee Saneishi, White and Victoria Macias, the latter of which drove in two runs on a bases-loaded single to center field. Kanoe Piltz closed the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

Favela was busy at shortstop, making eight defensive assists and four putouts along with going 1 for 2 at the plate with two walks and two runs scored.

The Urban Knights got the scoring going with a solo homer on the second pitch of the second game by Cailee Grayhorse-Pupecki for a quick 1-0 advantage.

Vulcans jumped ahead in the bottom of the third with a two-run home run to deep center field by Macias.

Game was halted in the top of the fourth for a 40-minute rain delay.

Makena Nera and Kiani Nakamura drew walks in the fourth inning, sandwiched around Maya Lee Saneishi’s bunt single to load the bases. White then drew another walk for an RBI insurance run.

Favela (shortstop) and Tilton (left field) each totaled six putouts on the left side of the field.

Madison Rabe hurled her sixth complete game in her ninth start, giving up just five hits and two walks with two strikeouts to move to a 7-2 record.

Now 18-14 overall and 12-10 in PacWest play, the Vulcans will have two weeks off before hopping to O’ahu for a four-game series with Chaminade, April 13-14. Next home games will be the final games of the regular season, hosting Chaminade (April 20) and HPU (April 21).

With the final month of competition coming up, UH-Hilo will look to keep the wins coming in hopes of booking a return trip to the mainland for the four-team PacWest Conference Championship postseason tournament set for May 1-3 in San Rafael, California at Dominican.

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