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Yoshikawa makes WCWS all-tournament team

June 8th, 2010

Hawaii senior Traci Yoshikawa was named to the Women’s College World Series all-tournament team today.
The Rainbow Wahine second baseman hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning of UH’s 3-2 win over Missouri to open the WCWS last Thursday. She also hit a solo homer in a 5-1 loss to Arizona to close the season on Saturday.
UCLA captured the WCWS title today with a 15-9 win over Arizona to win the best-of-three championship series. UCLA’s Megan Langenfeld was named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player.

UH softball extra: Heading home

June 6th, 2010

The Rainbow Wahine, who visited five states since leaving Honolulu on May 10, are spending their Sunday morning packing up one more time before heading home following their stay at the Women’s College World Series.

Seven players — Stephanie Ricketts, Kelly Majam, Jenna Rodriguez, Mikalemi Tagab-Cruz, Tara Anguiano, Kaia Parnaby and Brynne Buchanan) are heading to California tonight. The rest will check out of Oklahoma City today and spend the night in Tulsa. From there, the travel party will split among three flights bound for Honolulu on Monday. They’re scheduled to reunite at 3:15 p.m. Monday at HNL.

UH softball extra: Arizona next for UH

June 5th, 2010

Hawaii will next face Arizona in an elimination game today at 3:30 p.m. Hawaii time.

Arizona knocked defending national champion Washington out of the Women’s College World Series with a 4-3 win in an elimination game this afternoon.

The Rainbow Wahine and Wildcats met way back on Feb. 27 in the final day of the Cathedral City Classic in California with Arizona winning 8-3. 

Arizona freshman Kenzie Fowler struck out six, walked seven and held UH to two hits that day. Both of Hawaii’s hits were home runs. Jenna Rodriguez went deep in the second inning and Kelly Majam homered in the seventh.

In between, Arizona scored six runs in the fourth inning off UH freshman Kaia Parnaby. The Wildcats later added two more off of Stephanie Ricketts.

The winner of tonight’s game will have to beat Tennessee twice on Sunday to advance to the championship series.

UH softball extra: more from UH-UCLA

June 4th, 2010

Hawaii couldn’t handle UCLA pitcher Megan Langenfeld’s screwball and the Rainbow Wahine now face an elimination game against Washington or Arizona tomorrow.

The Huskies and Wildcats meet in a losers bracket game at 1:30 p.m. and the winner takes on UH at 8:30 (3:30 Hawaii time).

“I think our team handles pressure great,” designated player Jenna Rodriguez said. “I believe that we’re going to bounce back after today’s loss. We’re just going to put it behind us and come out strong.”

>> UCLA now leads the series with UH 13-4 and has won five of the last six meetings. The exception was UH’s win in 2007 in the Los Angeles regional. Langenfeld, then a freshman, took the loss in that game.

“I really wasn’t thinking about it. This is a completely different team,” Langenfeld said. “Maybe in the way, way, way back corner you kind of think about it a little bit. Knowing we’re a different team, they’re a different team, we just wanted to focus on today.”

>> UH turned in an error-less performance in the field and got sparkling plays late in the game when Kelly Majam made a diving catch in right-center to save a run and first baseman Amanda Taualii snared a line drive to start a double play.

>> UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez learned of the death of legendary Bruins basketball coach John Wooden just after tonight’s postgame press conference. 

Inouye-Perez said Wooden was one of the first people to call her when she was hired as head coach.

“We’re fortunate we were able to learn from him,” Inouye-Perez said. “A lot of people at UCLA know his pyramid of success is the foundation for a lot of the programs. …  I’m  fortunate to say I got to meet him and be a part of his world.”

UH softball extra—Bruins up next

June 3rd, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY >> UH head coach Bob Coolen likes playing early in the day. Seems waiting around tends to add to the tension.

But he’ll gladly deal with it tomorrow when UH faces UCLA in a winner’s bracket game at 6 p.m. local time (1 p.m. Hawaii time).

The Bruins own a 14-4 advantage in the all-time series with UH. The last time the teams met in the postseason, the Rainbow Wahine edged the Bruins 3-1 in eight innings in the Los Angeles regional in 2007. UH went on to advance to the super regional at Tennessee that year.

“We have some history there, they definitely got the last punch and our goal is to be able to show up and play our ball,” UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said.

The Bruins won the most recent meeting, a 3-0 victory at the Palm Springs Classic in 2008.

>> Missouri pitcher Kristin Nottlemann on the pitch to Traci Yoshikawa that resulted in the go-ahead home run: “The last one I probably would have wanted back. I think I might have wanted to go inside instead of away. But I thought we could get her out away because we had all day. It’s tough when those kind of things happen.”

>> Stephanie Ricketts’ sisters — Samantha and Keilani — were in the stands for yesterday’s game. Samantha is a former All-American at Oklahoma and Keilani just finished her freshman year with the Sooners. They ditched their usual crimson gear to support Stephanie. “I have to tell them they look good in green,” Stephanie said.

>> Hailing from Tampa, Fla., UH catcher Katie Grimes had quite a bit of interest in the UCLA-Florida game following UH’s win.

Asked about her preference, Grimes said, “I guess the best way to sum it up is my mom went to Florida State.”

She won’t get a chance to play the Gators just yet as UCLA thumped Florida 16-3 in six innings.

>> UH athletic director Jim Donovan and UH-Manoa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw arrived in Oklahoma City this morning and got to the stadium in time for the first pitch. Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson also attended the league’s first appearance in the WCWS since Fresno State played here in 1999.