Rainbow Wahine softball: Heen’s blast takes UCSB opener

Rainbow Wahine softball players signed autographs for fans after beating UC Santa Barbara 4-1 in the teams' series opener. / Photo by Brian McInnis

For Bob Coolen and the Hawaii softball team, 1K is in play on Saturday.

Callee Heen blasted a three-run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning shortly after UH faced a rain delay — and a one-run deficit — against UC Santa Barbara on Friday night. It was the difference in a 4-1 win over the Gauchos, as UH (25-10, 6-1 Big West) moved ahead of idle Cal State Fullerton atop the Big West standings.

Coolen, who sits at 998 wins in his 28 years as UH head coach, can attain 1,000 at Manoa if UH can come away with its second straight series sweep.

Game 1 on Saturday is at 2 p.m. and Game 2 tentatively set for 4.

UCSB (7-31, 1-6) struck first on a Sammy Fabian single in the third, but could manage nothing from there.

After the 17-minute rain delay (including tarp on the field) in the top of the fifth, third baseman Nicole Lopez drove in catcher Heather Cameron as the tying run on a fielder’s choice to third.


Designated hitter Alyssa Sojka singled and Heen, the reigning Big West player of the week, stepped up to the plate. The junior first baseman punished a no-doubter to right-center on a 2-2 count from Felisha Noriega.

Heen’s blast was her Big West-best 12th of the year. It moved Heen into a four-way tie for sixth for Wahine career home runs at 35 (Lopez, who has 10 homers this season, is one of the others at that career mark).

“We used (the delay) as motivation because we didn’t want to have to stop the game and finish where we left off,” Heen said. “We came out hot and ready to play.”

Pitcher Brittany Hitchcock (13-5) went the distance, giving up six hits and striking out four. It was her third straight game without issuing a walk.

COMMENTS

  1. H-Man April 13, 2019 5:34 pm

    Wahine win the double-header and Coolen gets his 1000th win. Congratulation to HC Bob Coolen.


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