Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, April 19, 2001


Wahine pitcher Desiree Duran is mobbed by admirers at
Waikiki Beach while practicing for her dream job --
hosting an MTV beach party.

Duran hungry
for WAC title

But Wahine pitcher also
dreams of television fame

By Dave Reardon

DESIREE DURAN rarely suffers from stage-fright. As a little girl in San Bernardino, Calif., she dreamed of TV stardom. The University of Hawaii broadcast journalism major aspires to project into millions of homes as an MTV or E! Channel host.

UH logo Shy and timid she is not.

But until last weekend, pitching against big, bad Fresno State was a different matter for the senior left-hander.

"I was always scared when we played them. But after losing to them three years in a row, I knew what to do," Duran said. "I just relaxed, took a deep breath and went after them."

The results were spectacular. Duran shut out the Bulldogs twice as UH won its first games ever at Fresno.

The victories earned her Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. More important, the four-game split with the WAC's dominant team made the Wahine (34-15, 5-3) believe in themselves.

"We're happy just knowing they're beatable," Duran said. "We feel we have the better team."

The rest of the season, which begins with a home doubleheader tomorrow against Portland State (17-21, 3-2), will determine if the Wahine have truly arrived. Hawaii is a half-game behind Fresno State for first in the conference.

Desiree Duran threw two shutouts
in Fresno, Calif., last weekend.

Duran is a key to UH's stretch run. She has pressure-game experience, having gone 14-2 as a freshman, including Hawaii's last NCAA Regional win.

"She's really focused," senior centerfielder Kristen Anderson said. "She knows she has to step up and take charge, but she isn't cocky about it."

UH coach Bob Coolen said success came too easy for Duran as a freshman and she struggled the next season.

"We talked a lot about mound presence her sophomore year, and she didn't know what it meant," Coolen said. "It didn't click in until during a game last year. Since then she's been very consistent. She's in a groove and if we get run support, ... we can make a run at the WAC."

Duran and Anderson plan to get it all on film. They tape teammates for a class project about life on the road for student-athletes.

"A lot of people think it's just missing a lot of school, goofing off and playing games you love," Duran said. "Studying on planes and in airports isn't always fun.

"We just want to show that it's not all glamorous. I think we can make a pretty good story out of that."

That story will be even better if the Wahine make it to the College World Series.

Note: Portland State is led by outfielder Kiauna Anderson, who leads the Vikings in batting (.361) homers (4) and RBI (16). Pitcher Morgan Seibert leads the WAC in strikeouts (157). She is 12-13 with a 2.71 ERA.

Climbing the charts

1998 14 2 2 1.44 116-2/3 101 33 59
1999 7 5 1 2.34 95-2/3 107 20 41
2000 11 5 0 2.02 121 93 52 96
2001 11 4 0 1.60 105 73 30 84
Totals 43 16 3 1.84 438-1/3 374 135 280

UH Career Ranks:

Tied for fourth in wins; fourth in strikeouts.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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