The University of Hawaii was lost without its ace.
With Kaia Parnaby sitting out after taking a one-hopper to the face a day earlier, Long Beach State roughed up Loie Kesterson twice on Saturday to sweep a softball doubleheader in Honolulu.
The 14-7 and 11-3 TKO losses cut the Rainbow Wahine’s lead over the 49ers atop the Big West to 2 1/2 games.
Everything was going smoothly for Hawaii (38-10, 15-3) on Friday until Parnaby, the NCAA Division I leader in wins, was hit by a comebacker and was forced to leave.
Kesterson finished to get the win in that game, but she lasted just 2 2/3 innings in the opener as Long Beach forged ahead with eight runs over the first three innings.
Kelly Majam hit home runs in each of the first two innings, but the 49ers answered by hitting four homers, and they hit three more in the second game.
Hawaii had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost a league series for the first time since 2011.
Sarah Carrasco and Nalani St. Germain homered in each end of the doubleheader. They went deep back-to-back to chase Kesteron (2-4) in the third inning of the first game, and their home runs in the fifth inning of Game 2 gave Long Beach an 11-0 lead.
Carrasco finished 4 for 7 with five RBIs on the day, and St. Germain was 4 for 7 and drove in three.
In 7 2/3 innings, Kesterson allowed 20 runs and 19 hits. Keiki Carlos went 4 1/3 in the opener, allowing seven hits and three runs, including Hannah De Gaetano’s two-run shot in the seventh. De Gaetano collected four hits in the doubleheader.
Neither pitcher could get out Shayna Kimbrough, who was 4 for 4 with a run-scoring double, two RBIs and scored three runs in the first game and finished with six hits on the day. Karli Sandoval (2 for 4) hit a three-run home run in the first.
Majam hit a three-run home run in the second as Hawaii put up a five-spot against Christian Carbajal (2-3), who lasted just 1 1/3 innings. Erin Jones-Wesley (17-8) relieved and worked around six walks to get the victory. In 5 2/3 innings, she struck out eight and allowed two runs and two hits.
Jones-Wesley started and got the victory in the second game by pitching into the fifth as Long Beach’s offense picked up where it left off.
Darian Tautalafua hit a home run in the first inning and Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi added two-run shot in the fifth.
Trailing by 11, Hawaii scored three times in the bottom of the fifth, including a two-run double by Jasmine Zamora, but the Wahine couldn’t extend the game.
Zamora and Kayla Wartner each had two hits for Hawaii. Brynne Buchanan was 2 for 4 in the first game.
Hawaii has six games remaining and it finishes its home schedule May 3-4 with a three-game series against Cal Santa Barbara. The Wahine still have a three-game series left at Pacific, which is three games in back in third place.
Hawaii 10, Long Beach State 5
Senior Monika Eggens scored four goals to become Hawaii all-time leading scorer, and the Rainbow Wahine powered into the Big West championship game in Irvine, Calif.
Top-seeded Hawaii (20-9) will face No. 2 Cal Irvine at its home pool at 1:45 p.m. HST today in the title game.
Senior Amarens Genee scored a hat trick as the Wahine led from the outset, scoring four of the matches’ first five goals — four by Eggens as she surpassed Kelly Mason’s mark of 239 — to win their seventh straight. That’s UH best stretch since a nine-game streak in 2010.
Justine Morgan tallied two goals for the 49ers (24-7).
Danielle Lewis and Caity Lopes da Silva also scored for Hawaii, which can clinch an automatic berth at the NCAA championshis with a win today. The Wahine and Anteaters split two matches this season.