By BILL O’REAR
Tribune-Herald sports editor
The University of Hawaii at Hilo exploded for 18 runs against Chaminade University in the opener and then defeated the Silverswords 10-8 in the second game of a softball twinbill on Sunday.
The Pacific West Conference doubleheader was played at Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio.
The sweep was satisfying for the visiting Vulcans, who were swept by the Silverswords in their last meeting in Hilo — knocking the hosts out of first place in the conference.
With the pair of wins Sunday, the Vulcans improved to 37-17 overall and 23-7 in the PacWest. The Silverswords dropped to 25-21 and 17-13, respectively.
In the opener, Rebecca Lee and Asha Prithviraj each had two hits and drove in three runs as UHH clubbed Chaminade starter Brett Aspel and reliever Kaitlyn Watanabe for a combined 15 hits. Colleen Aubrey led the Vulcans with three hits and had two RBIs. Kristina Victa (1 RBI), Emily Greene (2 doubles, 1 RBI) and Collette Black (1 RBI) each added two hits in UHH’s biggest offensive output of the season.
Elia Lizarraga led the hosts with two hits while teammate Shannan Hokama had two RBIs.
Ashley Nelson started for the Vulcans and went 3 1/3 innings. She gave up five runs on six hits and was replaced by Alyse Harris in the fourth. But Harris struggle before freshman Hannah Peterson came on to hold Chaminade without a run the final 1 1/3 innings. Peterson got the win.
Aspel, who beat UHH in Hilo, took the loss. She allowed 12 runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings on Sunday.
In Game 2, Aubrey hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning and had four RBIs as the Vulcans held on to beat Chaminade 10-8. Both teams combined for 18 runs and 33 hits. Aubrey and Greene had homers in the final contest.
Victa and Brandi Wilson each had three hits to lead the Vuls’ 17-hit attack. Aubrey, Greene, Prithviraj and Brittany Spencer each added two hits.Melanie Morelos had a hit and two RBIs.
Kori Berinobis led the Silverswords with four hits in five at bats and drove in two runs. Rayna Strom-Okimoto added three hits and two RBIs.
Nelson, in relief of starter Peterson, got the win, improving to 13-10 on the season. Former Waiakea standout Chelsea Camello started for the Silverswords and pitched 5 1/3 innings. She allowed 15 hits and eight runs while being tagged with the loss.
The Vulcans, currently ranked No. 7 in the West Region, host Hawaii Pacific University in a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday at the UHH field. It’s the final regular season games for both teams. The top 8 teams in the final West Region rankings will earn berths in the NCAA Division II West Regional, scheduled May 10-12 at a site to be determined.
At CORP, Waipio
UHH 302 0(13) — 18 15 2
CU 001 60 — 7 8 5
UHH 312 011 2 — 10 17 0
CU 102 211 1 — 8 16 0