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UH softball team to host Cal Poly in crucial series


HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii women’s softball team plays host to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this weekend in a crucial Big West Conference series.

The series begins at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.

All three games will be televised live statewide on OCSports and broadcast live on radio via ESPN AM 1420. Following Friday’s game, the team will stay on the field for an autograph session and Saturday’s doubleheader is billed as “Power in Pink” day in recognition of breast cancer awareness. The Rainbow Wahine will be wearing special Under Armour pink jerseys.

UH (19-19 overall, 4-5 Big West) is coming off a three-game losing sweep at first-place Long Beach State and has lost four straight in conference play, but is still tied for fourth place, just one game out of third.

Junior first baseman Leisha LiiLii leads the team with a .381 batting average, 11 home runs, 22 walks and 32 runs batted in. Sophomore right fielder/pitcher Keiki Carlos is hitting .339 with a team-high 41 hits, 29 runs and nine doubles.

Senior second baseman Jazmine Zamora is batting .300 with two doubles, one triple and three home runs, and senior outfielder/catcher Sharla Kliebenstein is batting .333 in conference play with two doubles and one home run.

Sophomore pitcher Loie Kesterson is 10-9 with a 4.19 earned run average, and freshman Heather Morales is 9-7 with a 5.16 ERA.

Cal Poly SLO (22-16, 4-5) is coming off a victory over UC Davis after dropping four straight Big West games. The Mustangs have five players batting over .300, including Emily Ceccacci at .378 and Sierra Hyland at .364 with seven doubles, four home runs and a team-high 26 RBIs.

Hyland also is Cal Poly’s top pitcher, with a 19-7 record, 1.53 ERA (with eight shutouts) and 208 strikeouts.

BASEBALL TEAM AT CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Rainbow Warriors baseball team is on the road for a seven-game trip starting with a three-game Big West series at Cal State Northridge.

The series begins at noon (HST) Thursday, followed by another game at noon Friday and Saturday’s 10 a.m. finale.

All three games will be broadcast live on radio via ESPN AM 1420.

Hawaii (14-19, 2-7 Big West) is mired in a six-game conference losing streak after being swept at home for the second straight week, this time by No. 3-ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Freshman Marcus Doi continues to lead the Rainbow Warriors in batting with a .345 average but is still slowed by a leg injury and did not play in Sunday’s series finale.

Senior right fielder Adam Hurley is batting .307 and Kaeo Aliviado and Marc Flores each is at .294, with Flores leading the team in home runs (4) and RBIs (27).

Matt Cooper continues to lead the pitchers with a 3-3 record, 1.71 ERA and 56 strikeouts. Scott Kuzminsky (3-4, 3.40 ERA) took injured Jarrett Arakawa’s place in the starting rotation and Scott Squier (2-3, 3.12 ERA) rebounded from two previous poor outings to take Sunday’s loss after allowing three unearned runs on nine hits in seven and 1/3 innings, with six strikeouts and three walks.

Cal State Northridge (13-22, 2-7) has lost six of its past seven games.

MEN’S BASKETBALL ADDS JC GUARD: The Rainbow Warriors men’s basketball team signed junior college transfer Roderick Bobbitt to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.

Bobbitt, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, played two seasons at Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College and averaged 15.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this past season, in addition to leading all JC players with 3.7 steals per game. He will have two years of eligibility at UH starting this fall.

Bobbitt helped Indian Hills post a 34-3 record this season, culminating in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game. He shot 47.2 percent from the field, including 35.9 percent from 3-point range, and was a 77.1-percent free throw shooter.

In one game, Bobbitt drained seven 3-pointers, and in another game, he registered a rare triple-double with 17 points, 10 assists and 10 steals.

Indian Hills also produced Brandon Spearman, a two-year starting swingman for UH who just completed his eligibility as team co-captain.

“We are thrilled to have Roderick join our team,” Rainbow Warriors coach Gib Arnold said in a school statement. “He was the best player on the best junior college team in the country and is a true leader and winner. He’s a big guard who can play multiple positions, but what I like about him most is he is a lock-down defender and a player who at the end of games always had the ball in his hands to make the right play.”

Bobbitt joins another guard, incoming freshman Isaac Fleming of Massanutten (Va.) Military Academy, as 2014 recruits. Fleming (6-4) signed in November.

Bobbitt’s signing coincides with the announced departure of UH starting point guard Keith Shamburger, who plans to earn his bachelor’s degree this summer and spend his final year of eligibility at a school closer to his Los Angeles home.

 

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