Hawaii ends Cal's perfect run
Iwata blasts a two-run walk off homer to lead Wahine to victory
HONOLULU—Hawaii shortstop Jessica Iwata hit a two-run, walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift No. 18 Hawaii past No. 2 California, 3-1. Stephanie Ricketts (13-1) earned the complete game win against the previously unbeaten Golden Bears on the third day of the Spring Fling tournament.
It was a pitcher's duel of a game with the score tied at 0-0 through the first nine innings of play. Ricketts was an escape artist at some points, getting out of a few early jams. She was able to strand 17 California runners on base in the game. Ricketts threw 10.0 innings, giving up one unearned run while scattering seven hits with seven walks. She tied her season-high with 12 strike outs.
California pitcher Jolene Henderson also fired a complete game, throwing nine-plus innings, allowing three runs on three hits with no walks and a stunning 16 strike outs. Henderson was untouchable early on, as she struck out the first six batters in the game. She had a perfect game going until two outs in the fourth inning when Sarah Robinson was able to get a base hit to left to break up Henderson's bid.
Cal broke the scoreless game in the top of the 10th inning. With the international tie-breaker rules in place, Jace Williams was at second base to start the game. A sacrifice bunt by Elia Reid pushed Williams to third. After a walk, Henderson hit a slow roller to short that was mishandled for an error that allowed Reid to score from third on two outs.
But in the bottom of the 10th, UH fought back. Kayla Wartner was placed at second base to start off the inning and Sarah Robinson then drove a single to left-centerfield. Wartner moved to third on the hit, but the throw home from the centerfielder sailed past the catcher and ricocheted around the backstop to allow Wartner to dive across home plate for the tying run while Robinson hustled all the way to third base on the play. The ensuing batter, Iwata, then came through with the clutch two-run blast to left field to end the game and Cal's 23-game win streak. It was Iwata's fifth home run of the season and 38th of her career.