The University of Hawaii not only controls its own destiny in the Big West, but it has a prime opportunity to apply the knockout blow to the rest of the league’s top contenders.
Winners of 17 or 18, the Rainbow Wahine (37-8, 14-1 Big West) open a three-game series with second-place Long Beach State (30-19, 12-6) at 6 p.m. today in Honolulu.
Hawaii, which is ranked Nos. 14 and 20 in the national polls, ends its season by playing the three teams that are its closest pursuers in conference.
After the series with the 49ers, the Rainbow Wahine finish their home slate May 3-4 against Cal Santa Barbara, then hit the road to cap the regular season at Pacific (27-22, 12-6), which is tied for second.
The series with Long Beach continues Saturday with a 2 p.m. Saturday doubleheader and both games are on OC-16.
For UH, senior shortstop Jessica Iwata is the reigning Big West Player of the Week, while ace left-hander Kaia Parnaby (34-4) is one win shy of tying the league mark for victories.