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HPU softball faces familiar field


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POSTED: Thursday, May 07, 2009

Snubbed last year by the NCAA Division II softball selection committee, Hawaii Pacific was more than happy to have its season extended this season … even if it meant another road trip. The Sea Warriors (40-10) feel they have much to prove at the subregional hosted by PacWest rival Dixie State in St. George, Utah.

“;Last year was so disappointing after we worked so hard,”; HPU senior pitcher Courtney Kessell said. “;We want to show the nation we belong in the postseason. We just need to play our game and be mentally tough because we're on the road again.”;

The Sea Warriors are 5-1 against the field, including 3-1 against Dixie State. At the Cal State Stanislaus Tournament of Champions, HPU defeated tomorrow's opponent UC San Diego 12-3 and Cal State Monterey Bay 8-4.

“;What wins it for us? We have the pitching, it's been consistent, but our hitting has been streaky,”; HPU coach Bryan Nakasone said. “;We know all these teams and they know us. It's going to be a matter of which team makes the least mistakes.”;

HPU's hopes ride on the arms of Kessell (18-6) and junior pitcher Sherise Musquiz (20-4). The PacWest champs face UCSD (29-21) at 9 a.m. Hawaii time, and that is followed by the game between PacWest runner-up Dixie State (30-9) and CSU Monterey Bay (36-25). The double-elimination tournament runs through Sunday, with the winner moving on to the Super 8 regional.