May 24, 2010

STANFORD, Calif.--The No. 19/23 University of Hawai`i softball team (47-13, 19-1 WAC) launched five home runs en route to a 7-1 win over Texas Tech to win the Stanford Regional and advance to the NCAA Super Regionals today at the Smith Family Stadium.

Kelly Majam, Traci Yoshikawa, Melissa Gonzalez, Jenna Rodriguez, and Katie Grimes all drilled solo home runs to bring UH's NCAA record total to 149.

Hawai`i pitcher Stephanie Ricketts (27-7) fired a complete game and earned the win. she tossed seven innings, giving up one one on six scattered hits with three walks and six strike outs.

But it was Texas Tech who jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Mikey Kinney led the game off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Leah Legler. Emily Bledsoe then drove in Kinney with an RBI double to the right-centerfield gap.

The 'Bows got the run back in the bottom of the inning on Majam's lead-off home run to start the home half of the inning. It was Majam's 29th home run of the season and the sixth time this season that she's led off the game with a home run.

In the second inning, UH took the lead on a solo shot over the left-centerfield fence by Yoshikawa. It was her 10th home run of the season. Then, the 'Bows got back-to-back homers by Gonzalez and Rodriguez to start the bottom of the third.

The Red Raiders threatened to score in the top of the fifth and sixth innings, but Ricketts and the 'Bows were able to get out of the jams.

Hawai`i erupted for three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Grimes led the inning off with a solo home run over the leftfield fence. It was her 11th home run of the season. Traci Yoshikawa kept things going with a single up the middle and then Majam drew her 39th walk of the year to set a new single-season record for UH. Both runners moved into scoring position on a ground out to second. After a strike out, Rodriguez came through with a single that scored both Yoshikawa and Majam, pushing UH's lead to 7-1.

Texas Tech starter Karli Merlich was tagged for Majam's solo home run and was called for three illegal pitches before being replaced by Ashley Brokeshoulder who threw the next 2.1 innings. She gave up three runs on six hits with a walk and a strike out. Ashly Jacobs closed the game, firing the final 3.2 innings, giving up three runs on four hits with three walks and a strike out.

The 16th-seeded Rainbow Wahine now advance to meet the No. 1 Seed, Alabama in best-out-of-three, Super Regionals in Tuscaloosa, Ala., May 28-29. It is the second time the 'Bows have advanced to the Super Regionals. In 2007, UH swept through the UCLA Regionals to punch their Super Regional ticket to face then No. 1 Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. The 'Bows took the Lady Vols to the third game, but fell just one win short of the Women's College World Series.