Rainbow Wahine softball renews rivalries in ’19

UH pitcher Brittany Hitchcock was granted a sixth year of eligibility after sitting out most of last season with an injury. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

Rainbow Wahine softball will celebrate its 35th year of competition by taking on a schedule featuring several schools that played prominent roles at various points in the program’s history.

UH released the 2019 schedule (see below) on Monday and the Wahine open the season on Feb. 7 against Georgia State in the Hawaii Paradise Classic and will also face UCLA and Fresno State during the three-day tournament at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.

UH’s series with UCLA includes regional matchups in 1995 and 2007, when Wahine edged the Bruins 3-1 in eight innings in Westwood on their way to the program’s first Super Regional appearance. The Wahine and Bruins also met in the 2010 Women’s College World Series with UCLA winning 5-2.

The UH-Fresno State rivalry was among the fiercest in the Western Athletic Conference and their Feb. 9 meeting will be the first since UH moved to the Big West following the 2012 season. The last time the Bulldogs visited Manoa in 2012, Kaia Parnaby earned an 11-inning complete-game victory with Kayla Wartner delivering a walk-off homer in the first game of the senior day doubleheader. Stephanie Ricketts followed by throwing a no-hitter in a 2-0 win in her final RWSS appearance.

In what has become an annual rite, UH faces BYU on Feb. 14 to open the three-day UNLV Classic in Las Vegas.

UH hosts three more nonconference tournaments in a lengthy homestand, starting with the Hawaii Invitational (Feb. 21-23, Canisius, DePaul, New Mexico).

The Outrigger Resorts Hawaii Spring Fling Tournament (March 6-10) features California’s return along with St. Bonaventure, Niagara, Utah and SIU-Edwardsville.

The Bears have been regular visitors over the years with their 2012 duel among the most memorable. Ricketts and Cal’s Jolene Henderson took twin shutouts into the 10th inning before the top-ranked Bears broke on top. UH responded with Sarah Robinson’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning and Jessica Iwata ended it with a two-run walk-off homer. The Bears pitching staff this season will again feature Kamehameha graduate Kamalani Dung, who started last year’s season-opener against UH.

The nonconference schedule closes with the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic (March 13-16). Niagara and SIUE will stick around for a second week and will be joined by SEC power Alabama. UH will face the Crimson Tide on March 15 and 16. UH’s last meeting with Alabama, of course, ended with the most significant swing in the program’s history — Jenna Rodriguez’s walk-off two-run homer in the final game of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional to send the Wahine to the 2010 WCWS.

UH opens Big West play with a home series against Long Beach State (March 29-30). The Wahine also play host to UC Santa Barbara (April 12-13), UC Riverside (April 26-27) and UC Davis (May 9-10). They play at Cal Poly (April 5-6), defending champion Cal State Fullerton (April 19-20) and Cal State Northridge (May 3-4).

UH opponents in last season’s final USA Today/NFCA Top 25
No. 3 UCLA
No. 14 Alabama
No. 20 Long Beach State
California (RV)
Cal State Fullerton (RV)

UH softball 2019 schedule Record: 0-0 overall, 0-0 Big West

DATEOPPONENTLOCATIONTIME/RESULT 
2/7/2019Georgia StateRWSS7 p.m.
2/8/2019Texas-ArlingtonRWSS4:30 p.m.
2/8/2019UCLARWSS7 p.m.
2/9/2019Fresno StateRWSS3 p.m.
2/9/2019Saint Mary'sRWSS5 p.m.
2/14/2019BYULas Vegas, Nev. 5 p.m.
2/15/2019FordhamLas Vegas, Nev. 1:30 p.m.
2/15/2019UTEPLas Vegas, Nev.3:30 p.m.
2/16/2019Weber StateLas Vegas, Nev.9 a.m.
2/16/2019Seattle UniversityLas Vegas, Nev.1:30 p.m.
2/20/2019New MexicoRWSS6 p.m.
2/21/2019CanisiusRWSS6 p.m.
2/22/2019DePaulRWSS5 p.m.
2/22/2019New MexicoRWSS7 p.m.
2/23/2019Hawaii Invitational TBARWSSTBA
2/24/2019CanisiusRWSSNoon
2/24/2019DePaulRWSS2 p.m.
3/6/2019St. BonaventureRWSS6 p.m.
3/7/2019CaliforniaRWSS6 p.m.
3/8/2019NiagaraRWSS6 p.m.
3/9/2019NiagaraRWSS4 p.m.
3/9/2019SIU-EdwardsvilleRWSS6 p.m.
3/11/2019SIU-EdwardsvilleRWSS6 p.m.
3/12/2019UtahRWSS6 p.m.
3/13/2019NiagaraRWSS6 p.m.
3/14/2019SIU-EdwardsvilleRWSS6 p.m.
3/15/2019AlabamaRWSS6 p.m.
3/16/2019NiagaraRWSSNoon
3/16/2019AlabamaRWSS2 p.m.
3/29/2019Long Beach State*RWSS6 p.m.
3/30/2019Long Beach State* (DH)RWSS2 p.m., 4 p.m.
4/5/2019Cal Poly*San Luis Obispo, Calif.2 p.m.
4/6/2019Cal Poly* (DH)San Luis Obispo, Calif.10 a.m., Noon
4/12/2019UC Santa Barbara*RWSS6 p.m.
4/13/2019UC Santa Barbara* (DH)RWSS2 p.m., 4 p.m.
4/19/2019Cal State Fullerton*Fullerton, Calif.3 p.m.
4/20/2019Cal State Fullerton* (DH)Fullerton, Calif.11 a.m., 1 p.m.
4/26/2019UC Riverside*RWSS6 p.m.
4/27/2019UC Riverside* (DH)RWSS2 p.m., 4 p.m.
5/3/2019Cal State Northridge*Northridge, Calif.Noon
5/4/2019Cal State Northridge* (DH)Northridge, Calif.10 a.m., Noon
5/9/2019UC Davis*RWSS6 p.m.
5/10/2019UC Davis* (DH)RWSS4 p.m., 6 p.m.
Home games played at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
Schedule subject to change
* Big West Conference game

COMMENTS

  1. H-Man December 13, 2018 4:24 am

    Coolen has put together a really good schedule. I have hopes this team can make it to a Super Regional behind Brittany Hitchcock and perhaps Martinez.


  2. cappie the dog December 13, 2018 6:28 am

    Alabama!

    This is a well-balanced schedule of winnable and challenging games.

    Brittany Hitchcock gives Hawaii a chance.

    Second base has been a problem spot, error-wise, of recent vintage.

    Defense and pitching is the name of the game in softball.

    Since they outlawed the fun bats, you see a lot of 1-0 games.

    But that is what softball purists like.


  3. Hapaguy December 13, 2018 11:38 am

    Ahhh. that two run walk-off homer by JRod was a thing of beauty. It stunned the crowd into silence and left the ESPN announcers speechless…..


  4. cappie the dog December 14, 2018 4:49 am

    Yes, there is a noticeable pause.

    The announcers were wrapping things up when Rodriguez hit that homer to left.

    They thought the game was over.

    In my mind, the greatest moment in UH sports history.

    Beating the number one team at their place with a College World Series bid on the line on a walk-off home-run?

    My personal shortlist of shallow things that made me proud of the school.

    1. The silent tears falling from those partisan announcers’ eyes.
    2. Winning a first-round NCAA game.
    3. Cracking the AP Top Ten in football.
    4. The forgotten women’s basketball first round game win at Montana.
    5. Beating USC at their place in baseball at a regional.


  5. cappie the dog December 14, 2018 4:51 am

    Oh, and the irony of a historically bad road team winning back-to-back WAC championship games at Tulsa.


  6. Lowtone123 December 15, 2018 8:46 am

    Jenna Rodriguez’ walk off against Alabama is the biggest moment in the programs history. I still get a kick watching it on YouTube.


  7. cappie the dog December 15, 2018 4:38 pm

    6.

    Can I have an “Amen!”

    And do you remember that Hawaii peeled a game against Tennessee on their home field the season before.

    Hawaii was relevant for two seasons.


  8. Washington Fan December 19, 2018 5:07 am

    Good luck to This Year . I see a lot of great Talent. Coolen has a great pitchers this year and a lot of great hitters . Can’t wait to see what Hitchcock and Martinez will do this year.


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