Hawaii Begins Quest For NCAA Glory In Washington
Softball Weekly Release No. 15
Hawai’i, which now owns the Big West record for most home runs in a season (80), hopes to produce more fireworks as the team opens the NCAA Softball Tournament in the Seattle Regional Friday.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
• Hawai’i is the Big West representative to the NCAA Tournament after clinching the regular season conference title with a sweep of Pacific last weekend. The Rainbow Wahine (43-11, 20-4) won the title by three games over second place Long Beach State.
• UH earned a trip to the Seattle Regional to begin postseason play. The ‘Bows will play Minnesota in their opening game of the regional Friday at 3:30 p.m. (PDT). The two teams last met in 1990. UH will play either host and No. 11 seed Washington or Portland State in a winner’s or loser’s bracket game Saturday. All 16 NCAA Regionals are double-elimination tournaments.
• The Rainbow Wahine, in their first season back in the Big West after a 16-year tour of the Western Athletic Conference, already have a history of competing in the postseason while with the Big West. UH played softball in the Big West from 1985-96, making back-to-back NCAA appearances in 1994 and 1995. The Rainbow Wahine went 2-2 in both tournaments.
• UH senior pitcher Kaia Parnaby broke two long-standing Big West single-season records last weekend in a series against Pacific. The southpaw defeated the Tigers twice for her 36th and 37th victories of the year. That trumped Cal Poly Pomona’s Rhonda Wheatley, who set the record with 35 wins in 1987. In addition, Parnaby unseated former UH standout Brooke Wilkins from the top spot on the single-season strikeouts list. Parnaby’s last K of the series gave her 325, one more than what Wilkins accumulated in 1994.
• Parnaby’s 290.0 innings pitched is tied for No. 8 in Big West history for most in a single season. Only four pitchers in league history have tossed at least 300 innings in a season – the last one to do so in 1991.
• The Hawai’i offense has had an extremely productive season and leads the Big West in several categories, including batting average (.289), slugging percentage (.519, on-base percentage (.382), runs scored (296), RBI (267), doubles (71) and home runs (80). The 80 home runs sets a Big West record, surpassing the 65 bombs that the 2002 Cal State Fullerton squad hit.
• UH senior Kelly Majam is on the verge of breaking the Big West single-season record for runs scored (58), jointly held by Pacific’s Gina Carbonatto (2007) and UNLV’s Kim Rodina (1995). The ‘Bows leadoff hitter has scored 57 times, 18 more than the No. 2 player in that category.
• Majam also has smacked 18 home runs to cement herself in the No. 2 spot in the Big West record book. The all-time record is 23 set by Stephenie Little of Cal State Fullerton in 1999. Three other UH players could break into the single-season top 10. WIth 12 home runs apiece, Sharla Kleibenstein and Leisha Li’ili’i need one more to join the list. Kayla Wartner (11) is two homers from entering the top 10.
• With 72 career home runs, Majam is the all-time leader in school history and also ranks ninth in NCAA history.