The University of Hawaii at Hilo rode a pair of strong pitching performances and the hot bat of Rebecca Lee to sweep Holy Names University in a doubleheader on Saturday at the Vulcans’ softball field.
The Vulcans (12-8 overall, 7-4 Pacific West Conference) claimed the opener 2-1 and the second game 6-0 over the Hawks (7-17, 3-7), from Oakland, Calif.
“It’s always good to get a sweep,” Vulcans head coach Jaime Wallin said. “But I thought we did some really good things today. We had both pitchers throw impressive games and Rebecca (Lee) came through again. Overall, it was a good team effort — from pitching to hitting to defense.”
Lee, a hard-hitting senior from Oahu, banged out three hits, including a game-winning double in the seventh, and drove in both runs in Game 1 to provide all the offense that UHH starter Ashley Nelson would need.
Nelson, a junior southpaw out of San Diego, tossed a four-hitter to earn her seventh win of the season against four losses. She went the distance, allowing one run and four hits while striking out four and walking one.
Holy Names starter Kayla Simonson pitched 6 1/3 innings and took the loss. She gave up five hits and both runs. Reliever Karolanne Tipton came in to face two batters in the seventh.
Lee was the only player in the game to have at least two hits.
In Game 2, sophomore right-hander Hannah Peterson (4-3) went the distance, holding the Hawks to five hits and her Vulcan teammates exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Holy Names starter Vanessa Pulido (0-1) was tagged with the defeat.
Lee was the only player in Game 2 to pair hits. She went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Both Lee and Jillian Martinez each had a double for the hosts.
“We did a good job in the second game, scoring runs early and putting some pressure on their defense,” Wallin said. “Our defense played well all day. We had a double play in each game, and our catcher, Danielle Pulido, picked off one of their runners in the first game — and that was a big play for us.”
The Vulcans host Academy of Art University in a PacWest doubleheader at noon Thursday at the UHH Field. They then close the busy week with a conference doubleheader against Dominican University at noon Saturday at UHH.
“This is a critical stretch for us,” Wallin said. “We’re in the middle of a six-game stretch and need to win as many games as we can.”
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