That 3-1, 10-inning win by the University of Hawaii softball team over No. 1/2 Cal will make the college softball community that hasn’t already take the Wahine seriously.
Or at least it should.
Many of the sport’s elitists didn’t take UH seriously two years ago when the Wahine bashed their way to the Women’s College World Series because they saw UH as a one-dimensional team.
They were somewhat wrong then, but would be really wrong now if they cling to that view.
UH (23-1) is still a power-hitting squad, as evidenced by Jessica Iwata’s walk off, two run blast to beat the Bears — and 34 team homers in 24 games.
But the Wahine pitching and defense is better than two years ago, as well as their ability to manufacture runs.
Senior Stephanie Ricketts and junior Kaia Parnaby were good pitchers in 2010. Now they are routinely dominant and sometimes unhittable, even against top-level competition.
Parnaby threw a no-hitter Wednesday against Marist as UH bounced back from its first loss of the season, 4-0 on Tuesday against Texas. Ricketts allowed a home run in that loss, but bounced back to handcuff Cal for 10 innings on Thursday.
If they close out the Chevron tournament by beating Texas A&M and Winthrop, look for the Wahine to climb into the top ten in both polls next week.
Bob Coolen has fielded some fine teams over the years, but this is starting to look like it might be the best.