The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Vanessa Salinas pitched a complete game in the opener and picked up a win in relief in Game 2 as the Vulcans swept Academy of Art University 4-2 and 8-5 on Saturday in San Francisco.
Salinas, a junior right-hander from Madera, Calif., scattered five hits in Game 1 for the Vulcans (9-7, 2-2 Pacific West Conference). She went the full seven innings to earn the win while allowing two runs with a walk and two strikeouts.
Salinas (6-4) outdueled AAU starter Kimberly Dauer, who also pitched the distance and took the loss. She gave up seven hits and four runs to go along with two walks and seven strikeouts.
“Vanessa pitched well in Game 1 and should have had a shutout,” UHH coach Jaime Wallin said. “But she did a real nice job, and we’re really fortunate to get a couple of wins today against a quality team.”
Emily Greene, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, had a two-run homer for UHH, her fouth of the season, and drove in two runs in the opener. Arren Nunez led the way with three hits and scored twice while leadoff batter Kristina Victa went 2 for 4.
“Arren had a nice game, going 3 for 3 and scoring our first run,” Wallin said, “and Greene came through with her two-run homer.”
Lauren Stover was the lone Urban Knight (4-9, 2-2) to pair hits off the 5-foot-4 Salinas.
In Game 2, UHH broke a 5-5 tie with a run in the top of the sixth inning and added two insurance runs in the seventh to secure the sweep.
“Early in the game, Colleen Aubrey had a big RBI double to get us going and then after they tied it 5-5, Kristina Victa got on and Rebecca Lee doubled her home for a 6-5 lead. That was big,” Wallin said.
Victa and Greene each had three hits to lead the Vulcans’ 11-hit attack. Lee and Aubrey added two hits apiece. Lee also had two runs batted in.
Stover and Haily MacDonald each had two hits for the hosts.
Ashley Nelson started for UHH and pitched four innings. She allowed four hits and two runs. Hannah Peterson took over in the fourth and the Urban Knights scored three runs before Salinas came in. Salinas hurled the final 2 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, two walks and striking out one.
“Ashley was rolling along in the fifth when she gave up two quick hits and then threw one well out of the strike zone,” Wallin said. “I didn’t feel comfortable and brought in the freshman (Hannah Peterson) and she struggled. But we had Vanessa Salinas warm up and she came in and limited the damage.”
MacDonald started for AAU and went 4 1/3 innings. Dauer (2-5) took over in the fifth and finished. She allowed four hits and three runs while taking the loss.
Wallin said she was pleased that her Vulcans are starting to hit the softball better.
“We have the potential up and down the lineup to hit and score some runs,” she said. “Overall, this road trip was good for us. We did some good things, but we also saw some of the things we need to work on.”
The Vulcans return home and host the UH-Hilo Round Robin, Feb. 21-23 at the UHH Softball Field. The Vuls are joined in the three-team event by Missouri Western State and Western Oregon.
At San Francisco
UHH 010 300 0 — 4 7 3
AAU 000 101 0 — 2 5 2
UHH 000 231 2 — 8 11 1
AAU 000 050 0 — 5 9 3
Vuls drop pair
Point Loma Nazarene swept a baseball doubleheader, 2-0 and 6-4, over the Vulcans on Saturday in San Diego.
The Vulcans (2-6, 1-3 PacWest) continue their road trip and play at Fresno Pacific University in a pair of doubleheaders scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in Fresno. However, UHH coach Joey Estrella said rain is predicted for Tuesday and the teams will play Monday.
In Game 1, Justin Lawrence (1-1) pitched a two-hitter, striking out nine and never gave the Vulcans a chance to get untracked at the plate. He set down the first nine batters he faced and didn’t allow a UHH runner past second base.
“Their pitcher really handcuffed us,” Estrella said. “All the credit goes to him. He did a nice job, holding us to two hits.”
The Sea Lions (4-6, 3-1) plated a run in the bottom of the second inning and one in the fifth, and that was all Lawrence needed.
Jeremy Dela Cruz started for the Vulcans and hurled five innings. He allowed five hits and both runs. He walked two and struck out four while being tagged with the loss. Gavin Kinoshita pitched the final three scoreless innings, giving up two runs with a walk and two strikeouts.
Leadoff batter Zach Allen had an RBI single and Kyle Desimone two hits and an RBI for Point Loma. Keenan Nishioka and Austin Cusack had UHH’s hits.
In Game 2, the Vulcans threatened but couldn’t put together a sustained rally to get past the Sea Lions.
Sea Lions starter Sebastian Santos ( 4 2/3 innings) got the win. Vulcans starter Bryce Shandro (1 2/3 innings) took the loss.
Bryan Burkhead led the hosts with three hits, including a home run, and had two RBIs. John Abreu, Nishioka and Cusack each had two hits for UHH. Teammate Greg Cleary had a hit and two RBIs.
“It was a great college doubleheader, really exciting,” Estrella said. “I enjoyed it, but we just didn’t hit at the right time. They had some quality pitching and timely hitting.”
UHH then returns to Hilo for a 16-game PacWest home stand against Hawaii Pacific (Feb. 28, March 1), Holy Names University (March 4-5), Dixie State College (March 10-11) and Grand Canyon University (March 15-17).
At San Diego
UHH 000 000 000 — 0 2 2
Point Loma 010 010 00x — 2 7 0
UHH 021 010 0 — 4 8 3
Point Loma 130 200 x — 6 12 0