In danger of getting swept again and falling below .500 in conference play, Emily Greene and the University of University of Hawaii at Hilo softball team busted out in a big way.
Greene swatted two home runs with five RBIs Saturday and the Vulcans outslugged Azusa Pacific 13-8 to salvage a split of their doubleheader in Azusa, Calif.
The junior designated hitter hit a solo shot in the first inning to give UHH (18-16, 11-10 Pacific West Conference) the lead, then her two-run shot in the second fueled a seven-run uprising. She finished 3 for 5 and has six home runs on the season.
“She went up their swinging and attacked pitches,” UHH coach Jaime Wallin said.
Kaylie Drew (2 for 5) added her first home run, a solo shot in the second inning, as the Vulcans banged out 18 hits to end a three-game losing streak.
“A crucial win,” coach Jaime Wallin said. “It was good for our psyche.
“Anytime you play eight games in five days it’s tough.”
Hannah Peterson (6-6) survived into the fifth inning to get the win before giving way to Ashley Nelson, who took the loss in a 5-2 loss in the first game.
Catcher Jillian Martinez enjoyed a perfect day at the plate in the second game, going 4 for 4 with two runs scored, second baseman Brittany Huff went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI single and Shelby Vickers tacked on an RBI double and run-scoring single. Mariah Wycoff scored two runs and drove in two runs.
Peterson allowed seven runs to the Cougars (27-12, 15-9) — five earned — on six hits. The sophomore right-hander didn’t issue a walk or strikeout a batter.
Huff was 2 or 3 in the first game, but Carly Xepoleas came on to pitch 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief to improve to 10-3.
Nicki Sprague hit a two-run hone run and a two-run single off Nelson (8-9), who went six innings and allowed nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The Vulcans head to Notre Dame de Namur for a doubleheader Monday to conclude a road trip that they are 3-7 on so far.
Dixie State collected 18 hits in a 12-1 victory, then the Vulcans made three errors in losing 8-4 as their losing streak reached seven games in St. George, Utah.
“That team can really hit. We can’t match their firepower,” UHH coach Kallen Miyataki said. “Our defense let us down a little bit.”
Jeremy Dela Cruz (3-3) took the loss in the first game, lasting just 2 1/3 innings and giving up five hits and four runs with a walk.
Kevin Kline homered for the Red Storm (22-11, 16-2), while Austin Cusack finished 3 for 4 for the Vulcans (10-17, 8-12).
Jordan Kurokawa (2-4) was the loser for UHH in the second game. He went four innings and yielded nine hits and six runs — four earned.
Harrison Guiol and Keenan Nishioka each had two hits for UHH, which faces Dixie State in another doubleheader today.
“We’re ready to head home,” Miyataki said.