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StarBulletin.com

Sweep for seniors


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POSTED: Sunday, May 03, 2009

From her position behind the plate, Hawaii catcher Stacey Yamada took just a moment to scan the field and soak in the moment.

The senior's view included seven of her teammates who would end their careers at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium with the next out.

“;It was amazing,”; Yamada said. “;I looked all around and we were all out there and it's just a great feeling to finish together on the field.”;

On “;Power in Pink”; day at the park, Hawaii's senior class powered the Rainbow Wahine to a doubleheader sweep of Boise State yesterday, closing the regular season with 9-1 and 8-3 wins over the Broncos.

When a fly ball fell into the glove of center fielder Malamaisaua Manuma—a junior also playing her final home game—it capped a three-game sweep and signaled the start of the emotional sendoff for the senior class.

“;When I was jogging in and Malama caught that last out, I kind of reflected back and through about my four years here,”; said right fielder Tanisha Milca, who went 5-for-7 with two RBIs in the doubleheader. “;It was a good run here and I enjoyed every moment of it.

“;We all wanted to finish our careers here with a bang and I think we did. It's good because we're going to carry this momentum into the WAC tournament.”;

Hawaii (29-22, 15-6 WAC) will be the third seed in this week's conference tournament in Fresno, Calif., and faces Louisiana Tech in the first round on Wednesday. Boise State (21-28, 4-16) will be the seventh seed.

Each of the senior position players had at least one RBI in yesterday's doubleheader and pitcher Courtney Baughman (7-8), who's battled through injury this season, earned a complete-game win in the finale.

“;I really wanted to finish,”; Baughman said. “;It was pretty exciting. The girls hit fantastic, so it made it really fun.”;

Seniors Clare Warwick and Audrey Andrade hit solo home runs in the first game of the doubleheader and freshman Stephanie Ricketts (21-9) picked up her second win of the series as the Wahine ended the game in five innings due to the mercy rule. Warwick's sacrifice fly in the fifth was the final play.

“;Obviously senior day you want to play well and a home run's just a bonus,”; Warwick said.

“;It was hard (before the games), you're always thinking about it, that this is our last game here. But once you get started it's like any other day and you have to treat it like that.”;

UH head coach Bob Coolen started all of the seniors in the finale, but it was junior Kanani Pu'u-Warren who set the tone with a two-run homer in the second inning. The Wahine broke open the game with a six-run, third-inning rally and Baughman found enough fuel in reserve to finish the game.

Shortstop Julie Franklin and second baseman Riche-Anne Titcomb both drove in runs in the third inning and Yamada came up a few feet short of a grand slam, settling for a two-run double.

“;It felt really good to get that hit because I was struggling the whole weekend,”; said Yamada, the only walk-on in the senior class.

“;It means a lot because I just wanted to make it to the end with everyone. I just loved being a part of the program and having an opportunity.”;

The final out found its way to Manuma—a fourth-year junior who entered the program with the seniors and will graduate in December.

“;To be able to put all of them in ... it was nice to see,”; Coolen said.

 

WAC Standings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
 WLPCT.GBW-L
Nevada155.75035-15
Fresno State155.75025-16
Hawaii 156.7141/229-22
Louisiana Tech128.600332-21
New Mexico State119.550432-19
San Jose State615.2869 1/219-35
Boise State416.2001121-28
Utah State317.1501210-37

YESTERDAY
Hawaii 9, Boise State 1 (5 innings) (1st)
Hawaii 8, Boise State 3 (2nd)
Nevada 5, San Jose State 3 (14 innings) (1st)
San Jose State 1, Nevada 0 (10 innings)(2nd)
New Mexico State 5, Louisiana Tech 4
Fresno State at Utah State, CLD, rain
END REGULAR SEASON

 

WAC Tournament

At Fresno, Calif.

WEDNESDAY

Game 1: No. 6 San Jose State vs. No. 7 Boise State, 11 a.m.

Game 2: No. 2 Nevada vs. No. 5 New Mexico State, 1:30 p.m.

Game 3: No. 3 Hawaii vs. No. 4 Louisiana Tech, 4 p.m.

THURSDAY

Game 4: No. 1 Fresno State vs. Game 1 winner, 7 a.m.

Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 9:15 a.m.

Game 6: Game 2 loser vs. Game 1 loser, 11:30 a.m.

Game 7: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 1:45 p.m.

Game 8: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 winner, 4 p.m.