Rainbow Wahine win it late, again
A two-run double by Brandi Peiler in the top of the eighth led Hawaii to a 3-1 win over top-seeded and host UCLA yesterday to advance to today's championship game in the NCAA Division I softball regional in Los Angeles.
Next Up vs. Loyola Marymount today
Los Angeles Regional
Double elimination; all times Hawaii time
» Hawaii 3, UCLA 1, 8 inn.
» Loyola Marymount 5, UC Santa Barbara 3, UCSB eliminated
» Loyola Marymount 4, UCLA 2, UCLA eliminated
» Hawaii (48-11) vs. Loyola Marymount (47-17), 11:30 a.m. (If Hawaii loses, the teams play again at 2 p.m. for the regional championship)
Hawaii plays Loyola Marymount, a 4-2 winner over UCLA in last night's elimination game, at 11:30 a.m. If the Rainbow Wahine (48-11) win, they advance to an NCAA Super Regional for the first time. If they don't, then a second game will be played at 2 p.m., with that winner moving on to the next round of the NCAA tournament.
UH pitcher Kate Robinson raised her record to 16-1 for the season with the complete-game win over the Bruins. She struck out four and walked only two. It was the second straight time Hawaii has needed extra innings to get the win.
Peiler gave Hawaii a 1-0 lead after Hawaii loaded the bases in the sixth on successive singles by Kaulana Gould, Tyleen Tausaga and Robinson. Peiler scored Gould on a sacrifice fly. UCLA tied it in the bottom of the seventh, forcing Hawaii to load the bases again. Peiler drove in two with a double off the wall with one out.
LOS ANGELES » In the shadow of Hollywood, Hawaii followed a successful dramatic formula to produce another hit performance in the NCAA Division I softball regionals.
Brandi Peiler hit a two-run double in the top of the eighth inning, and drove in all three runs to give the Rainbow Wahine a 3-1 victory over UCLA yesterday at Easton Stadium.
Hawaii (48-11) needs only one more win to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time.
The Rainbow Wahine face Loyola Marymount today at 11:30 a.m. Should Hawaii lose, a second game would follow at 2 p.m. to determine the winner of the double-elimination tournament.
Peiler's game-winning hit came one day after Tanisha Milca's two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th that defeated UC Santa Barbara, 2-0 &emdash; and two innings after Peiler put Hawaii ahead, 1-0.
The Rainbow Wahine loaded the bases with one out in the top of the sixth on successive singles by Kaulana Gould, Tyleen Tausaga and Kate Robinson.
As about 100 Hawaii fans were serenading her with chants of "Let's Go 'Bows," Peiler brought Gould home with a sacrifice fly to left fielder Krista Colburn.
But UCLA (37-17) tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Tara Henry slapped a single to left field, moved to second base on Colburn's sacrifice and scored on Jodie Legaspi's single up the middle.
The Bruins then had a chance to win in the bottom of the seventh. Whitney Holum led off with a check-swing single to left before being replaced by pinch runner Shana Stewart, who reached second on Kaila Shull's sacrifice.
But pinch hitter Kristen Dedmon flied out to Peiler in left field and Henry lined out to Clare Warwick at third base.
Until UCLA scored, Robinson had frustrated the Bruins. The senior conceded just one hit and one walk in the first five innings and retired 14 of 15 batters, including eight in a row.
"We watched them the previous game, and they were getting a lot of their big hits off high balls," Robinson said. "So we talked about keeping the ball low and keeping it on the ground."
In the eighth, Peiler again came to bat with the bases loaded and one out. Warwick began the inning with a single, then Tausaga received an intentional walk and Robinson slapped a single to left.
After taking a fastball on the outside corner from UCLA freshman Megan Langenfeld, Peiler lined the next pitch off the left-field wall for the double that brought Warwick and Tausaga home.
"(Langenfeld) was throwing hard screwballs inside," Hawaii coach Bob Coolen said. "We got some hits off of them, but we needed to see the ball a lot earlier.
"Brandi made a really good hit on an inside pitch that she made a great adjustment on."
Peiler elaborated: "I moved up toward (Langenfeld) a little and off the plate. I took the first pitch and I told myself, 'If it comes in my zone, swing hard and bring in the RBI.' "
Robinson retired the Bruins in order in the bottom of the eighth to improve her record to 16-1. Robinson induced 12 groundouts, struck out four Bruins, walked two and allowed just four hits.