Monday, March 12, 2001
If yesterday was an indication of how Holly Garcia performs when she's nervous, her Hawaii Pacific University softball teammates should feel confident when her butterflies show up.
double up Pirates,
improve to 19-1
By Brandon Lee
Special to the Star-Bulletin
Garcia's two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning in the second game of a doubleheader against fourth-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.) gave the Lady Sea Warriors a dramatic 5-3 victory and a sweep of the Pirates at HPU's windward softball field.
A crowd of 135 also watched the Sea Warriors take the first game, 6-3.
HPU extended its best-ever start for a season to 19-1, while Armstrong Atlantic fell to 7-3.
The Sea Warriors played solid defense in both games, received courageous complete-game performances from their two flu-ridden pitchers and had a couple other clutch hits. But it was Garcia's 4-for-7 hitting performance -- two of them for extra bases (RBI double in first game) -- that was the highlight.
"I was so nervous," said Garcia of coming to the plate before her home run. "But I knew that I had to do something because this game was very important to us because they're a ranked team and we're not. ... I think we can go on the field with anybody."
HPU trailed, 3-1, going into the bottom of the sixth inning in the second game.
After the Sea Warriors put runners on second and third with one out, Kim Fukumoto grounded a sharp single up the middle to bring them home and tie the score.
In the seventh, Milonne Chapman led off with an opposite-field single to help set up Garcia's heroics. Chapman was at third after two successful sacrifice bunts, when Garcia crushed a 2-0 pitch over the left-field fence.
"Our pitcher hung a ball up there and (Garcia) got it," Armstrong Atlantic coach Marty McDaniel said. "(The Sea Warriors) are a good, scrappy team. They do the things you need to do to win and that's why they're 19-1."
Pitcher Malia Sullivan (8-1) picked up the victory in the second game after scattering eight hits, striking out one and walking one. She and first-game winner Jessica Parra (10-0) hadn't practiced in the two days prior due to illness.
Parra gave up nine hits while striking out five and walking three. Her counterpart for the Pirates wasn't able to get out of the first inning due to wildness, and HPU took a 4-0 lead after one without getting a hit.
Parra had a 6-0 lead going into the top of the seventh when she gave up an RBI double and a two-run homer before eventually closing Armstrong Atlantic out.
"To the two pitchers, a lot of credit," HPU coach Howard Okita said. "(Armstrong Atlantic) was not a slouch team, they're very good."
Unlike the Pirates, the Sea Warriors went unranked in the NCAA Division II preseason poll. With two quality wins over a top-ranked team, that should change as long as HPU doesn't falter before the new poll comes out March 21.
The Sea Warriors host Lipscomb (Tenn.) in a doubleheader tomorrow.
At HPU-Windward Campus
Hawaii Pacific 6, Armstrong Atlantic 3 (1st)
Hawaii Pacific 5, Armstrong Atlantic 3 (2nd)
Armstrong Atlantic 000 000 3--3 9 1 Hawaii Pacific 400 110 x--6 5 0
Annie Sells, Julie King (1) and Kelli McNary; Jessica Parra and Tascha Berinobis. W--Parra (10-0). L--Sells (3-2).
Leading hitters--AA: A. Sells, 2-3, 2b; Breon Michel, 2-4; Mary Morris, 2-4; Tesh Wiewel, 2-4; Crystal McCracken, 2-run HR. HPU: Samee Fernandez, 2-3; Milonne Chapman, 2 RBIs; Holly Garcia, 2b.
Two outs when winning runs scored
Armstrong Atlantic 010 002 0--3 8 0 Hawaii Pacific 100 002 2--5 9 0
Julie King and Kelli McNary; Malia Sullivan and Lauren Okimoto, Tascha Berinobis. W--Sullivan (8-1). L--King (4-1).
Leading hitters--AA: Nicole Weirauch, 3-3, 3b, 2 RBIs; Breon Michel, 2b. HPU: Holly Garcia, 3-4, 2-run HR; Ashelle Acosta, 2-3; Kim Fukumoto, 2 RBIs; Kristin Fujii, 2b.