Sunday, May 6, 2001
[ WAHINE SOFTBALL ]
Hawaiis 4 seniorsIt may have been a time for Wahine senior Kristin Anderson to reflect on a great career yesterday, but she couldn't help herself from sneaking a peak into the future.
go out with sweep
Wahine take 2 from Spartans
in final home doubleheader
By Jack Danilewicz
Special to the Star-Bulletin
"They're going to be awesome," said Anderson of the Wahine underclassmen. "We're not a one-person team. We all pitch in. If we (seniors) don't come through, someone else will. They're going to be great for the next three years and beyond."
Indeed, the irony of Senior Day was not lost on Anderson as she and her teammates got a big lift from the underclassmen in the Wahine's doubleheader sweep of San Jose State -- 1-0, 7-0 -- in the regular-season home finale at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Afterward, Anderson joined fellow seniors Desiree Duran, Tyree Woodruff and Janelle Gonzales in their ceremonial walk around the bases. The Wahine compiled a 79-20 home record with the foursome in the fold.
They hope the next game they play will be in the NCAA Regionals later this month. The Wahine (46-16, 16-4), winners of their last 12, will await the NCAA selection committee's decision which will come May 13. Although they have finished their conference schedule with a one-game lead over Fresno State (38-17, 13-3) in the WAC, the Bulldogs still have a four-game series to play at Tulsa this week and have one less loss than the Wahine. If an at-large bid becomes the Wahine's only ticket, Hawaii coach Bob Coolen still likes their chances.
"We came in thinking this would kind of solidify everything for us," said Coolen. "It gives us a 12-0 run to finish the year and sends a good message to the NCAAs. The next regional rankings come out Tuesday, and I'm on that committee, so we'll sit down and rank our region in earnest and see what's going to happen and where we fit in."
"If Fresno sweeps, we end up a game out of first," he continues. "If they (Fresno State) go 3-1, we'll share the crown. We need an at-large bid, probably. But right now, I think we're looking pretty good."
If anything, the Wahine are hitting their stride, as evidenced yesterday afternoon. In the first game, Duran went the distance, yielding just four hits against two walks with a pair of strikeouts to improve to 17-4 overall and 9-0 in the WAC. She also added a base hit, offensively, for good measure, but it was a solo home run in the fourth inning by Sheri Oronoz that was the margin of difference.
"It was good for the seniors to take two wins," said Duran. "Hopefully, we'll get that bid to the Regionals. I'm hoping we'll make it and go on to the World Series. Just in case, I was hoping we'd beat them today, and we did. They're going to do well the next two years. I was just looking to do the best I could."
In the second game, sophomores Trisha Ramos (3-for-4, two RBIs), Stacey Porter (3-for-4 with two runs scored) and April Crowell (2-for-3) provided the Hawaii offense in support of freshman pitcher Felicity Witt, who worked six full innings to get her 22nd win. Gonzales came on in the seventh and picked up the save.
"It's exciting to see what we have coming back," Coolen says. "But the seniors set the tone for this team. It's good to see the young players, who are playing very loose right now, to come through, and we're getting it done. Desi (Duran) went out there and did her job in the first game, and in the second game, we just exploded."
Ka Leo O Hawaii