The University of Hawaii at Hilo softball team finished its longest homestand of the season with two more victories Saturday.
And in sweeping Dominican 8-0 and 9-1 via TKO, Vulcans coach Jaime Wallin saw a team that is also fit to compete away from UHH softball field.
Ashley Nelson fired a one-hitter before picking up another win in relief as UHH (15-9, 10-5 Pacific West Conference) got offensive production from its usual suspects: Kristina Victa, Rebecca Lee and Emily Greene as each finished with two hits in the first game, and Colleen Aubrey went a combined 4 for 7 with three RBIs.
“Typical performances for them,” Wallin said. “Believe me, I don’t take them for granted. They’ve been doing the bulk of the work.”
But her favorite part of the afternoon was the offensive work turned in by the bottom of the lineup in the second game, players she already knows she can count on defensively.
Second baseman Brittany Huff started a three-run second inning off with a double, moved to third on Amanda Lara’s single and scored on Victa’s sacrifice fly. Two more runs scored on errors.
Batting ninth, shortstop Amanda Lara was 2 for 3 with two runs scored, Huff scored two runs and third baseman Jillian Martinez added an RBI double from the No. 8 spot.
“Production from top to bottom in our lineup,” Wallin said. “I’m encouraged taking this team on the road.”
After an 8-3 run at home, the Vulcans begin a 10-game road trip next Saturday with the first of two doubleheaders at Dixie State in Utah.
Nelson (9-4) pitched 9 2/3 scoreless innings against the Penguins (11-10, 5-5). The junior left-hander struck out six batters and walked only one in the six-inning first game, then she allowed only a hit in relief of Hannah Peterson in the second game.
“Hannah had trouble finding her footing, and Ashley didn’t make many pitches in the first game, so we made a change,” Wallin said.
Nelson rebounded after a rocking outing Thursday in which five of the eight runs she allowed were unearned.
“That should help her boost her confidence,” Wallin said. “I think we’ll depend a lot on Hannah on the road trip.”
Ashlyn Moriarity (8-3) took the loss in both ends of the doubleheader.
“She’s shut down some strong offensive teams,” Wallin said.
The Vulcans jumped out quickly in the first game. Victa and Lee reached on a walk and single, respectively, and both scored on Greene’s double to left field, giving her 11 RBIs in a three-game span.
Lee tacked on an RBI double and scored three times. After a 3-for-5 afternoon, her average sits at .611.
Dominican 000 000 — 0 1 4
UHH 202 202 —8 10 0
Domincan 010 00 —1 3 3
UHH 033 12 —9 11 2