On Military Appreciation Day at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium, the University of Hawaii put on quite the power display.
The Rainbows played home run derby in the first inning of both ends of a doubleheader Saturday to overwhelm Cal Riverside.
Hawaii (31-7, 9-0 Big West) totaled nine home runs – seven in the first innings – to win 12-1 via TKO and 8-1.
Kelly Majam led off each first inning with a homer, and Jessica Iwata and Sharla Kliebenstein also went deep in both games as the ’Bows swept the series from the Highlanders (15-24, 0-9), hitting .500 over the three games and slugging .900 to run their winning streak to 11.
As if Kaia Parnaby needed all the run support.
Sporting military-themed uniforms like the rest of her teammates, the senior left-hander improved to 28-3 and added her 28th complete game of the season, moving into second place in the UH single-season record with 265 strikeouts.
She was working with a healthy lead after Hawaii’s lineup erupted in the first inning of each game.
First, Hawaii scored 12 times on the strength of four home runs, including a grand slam by Kliebenstein. Iwata hit a three-run homer and Leisha Liilii added a two-run blast.
Then, Majam and Kayla Wartner opened the second game with back-to-back home runs and Iwata, who was 5 for 7 on the day, topped it off with a solo shot.
Hawaii coach Bob Coolen earned career wins nos. 900 and 901.
Kiani Wong, a 2012 Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate, got into the fun in the second game, scoring as pinch-runner.
Kliebenstein hit a two-run shot in the third, and Kaile Nakao’s home run to left gave Hawaii an 8-1 lead in the fifth. She finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Parnaby struck out four and walked one in the first game, allowing four hits and two earned runs.
Sophie Slagle (0-2) lasted only four batters as UH’s first 10 hitters scored.
In her second at-bat of the first, Majam had an RBI double to center, and Keiki Carlos also had two hits in the inning, a double and an RBI single.
Parnaby struck out two in six innings of work in the second game and gave up four hits, including Kayla White’s solo home run in the third. She didn’t walk a batter.
Loie Kesterson gave up two hits and struck out a hitter in the seventh.
White was 2 for 3 with a triple for Riverside. Starter Taylor Alvarez (2-4) was pulled after allowing home runs to the first hitters.
Kliebenstein had two hits in the first game, and Liilii and Brynne Buchanan added two hits in Game 2.
Monika Eggens scored five goals and Emily Carr, Paula Chillida and Amarens Genee added two each as Hawaii powered past Pacific 12-11.
Danielle Lewis also scored for the Rainbow Wahine (15-9, 5-1 Big West) and Amy Carlson made seven saves in Stockton, Calif.
The match was tied at 5-5 at the half. Eggens gave Hawaii an 11-9 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter, and Eggens’ final goal restored the two-goal lead with 1:51 remaining in the game.