Heen powers Rainbow Wahine past UCSB

The Rainbow Wahine softball team faces UC Santa Barbara in its next to last home series of the season.
The Rainbow Wahine softball team faces UC Santa Barbara in its next to last home series of the season.

Rainbow Wahine freshman Callee Heen launched two-run homers in consecutive plate appearances to power the UH softball team to a 5-1 win over UC Santa Barbara on Friday at Rainbow Wahine Softball stadium.

Heen broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-run shot just inside the right-field foul pole. She came back up in the sixth and was hit by a pitch but umpire Jim Bertuzzi ruled that Heen had leaned into the pitch and kept her at the plate. Two pitches later, Heen launched a high arcing blast that landed on the roof of the batting cages beyond right field.

UH right-hander Brittany Hitchcock recovered from a shaky start to strike out six in a complete-game performance while improving to 17-9 overall and 5-3 in Big West play. After giving up three singles in the first inning, Hitchcock held UCSB to four hits over the next six innings.

UH shuffled the lineup with junior center fielder Danielle Garcielita out for the weekend due to a foot injury.

Garcielita had started all 43 games and was hitting .316 in the leadoff spot before suffering the injury in practice on Thursday. Sarah Muzik moved up a spot into the leadoff role and senior Ulu Matagiese got the start in center field.

After UC Santa Barbara took the lead on Alyssa Diaz’s RBI single in the top of the first, Muzik answered for UH with a triple into the left-field corner to open the bottom of the inning. Freshman Chardonnay Pantastico followed with a single to left to tie the game.

Heen gave UH the lead with her seventh homer of the season in the fourth and hammered No. 8 in the sixth to move into second on the team.

The series concludes Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. on Military Appreciation Day.

At Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium
UC Santa Barbara (27-22, 7-6) 100 000 0 — 1 7 0
Hawaii (26-18, 5-8) 100 202 x — 5 6 1
Veronika Gulvin and Samantha Lujan. Brittany Hitchcock and Callee Heen. W—Hitchcock. L—Heen.
Leading hitters—UCSB: Sierra Altmeyer, 2-2; Alyssa Diaz, RBI.
Hawaii: Sarah Muzik, 3B; Chardonnay Pantastico, RBI; Callee Heen, 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBIs.