Football head coach Greg McMackin said that slotback Greg Salas will be used as a defensive back in certain situations this coming season. Salas played deep safety a few times in Hail Mary situations last year.
McMackin also reiterated what was reported here a couple of weeks ago: defensive end Paipai Falemalu will be used as a strong-side linebacker in the base 4-3 defense.
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From UH’s Kara Nishimura:
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Five University of Hawai`i softball players have been selected to the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I All-West Region teams announced today. Hawai`i third baseman Melissa Gonzalez, utility/designated player Jenna Rodriguez and outfielder Kelly Majam were named to the first team, while pitcher Stephanie Ricketts and shortstop Jessica Iwata were second-team honorees.
The Rainbow Wahine’s five all-region players was the most selections in the WAC. It is the first all-region honor for Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Majam, and Iwata. Last season, Ricketts was named to the all-West Region first team.
Gonzalez, a junior from Moreno Valley, Calif. (Valley View HS), is currently hitting .399 (77-for-193) and is second on the team with 23 home runs and 55 RBI. She is tied for the team-high in multiple-hit games (23).
Rodriguez, a junior from Arcadia, Calif., hit .361 (65-for-180) with 12 doubles, a triple, 14 home runs, 31 runs scored, and 47 RBI. She is tied for the team lead with 16 multiple hit games and is currently on a 13 game hitting streak. Last season, Rodriguez was voted to the NFCA Junior College All-American second team after leading Yavapai College to the 2009 national title.
Majam, the WAC’s Freshman of the Year, leads UH with a .409 average (76-for-186) and has set new school records with 28 home runs and 72 runs scored and is one walk short of tying the school record of 38 set by Stacey Porter in 2003. The Pine Valley, Calif. (Mountain Empire HS) native also leads the team with two triples, 58 RBI, and a slugging percentage of .957. She had a team-high, 18 game hitting streak earlier this season and is tied with Rodriguez with 16 multiple-R BI games. On defense, Majam has been stellar, with a 1.000 fielding percentage and six assists.
WAC Player of the Year, Iwata, is a freshman from Lihu`e, Kaua`i (Kaua`i HS), leads UH with a school record 21 doubles and is second on the team with 60 runs scored and a .404 average (72-for-178). Iwata also has 17 home runs this season and 53 RBI.
Ricketts, a sophomore from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty HS), led UH with a 24-7 record with a 2.37 ERA. The WAC Pitcher of the Year, Ricketts tossed 25 complete games this season in 32 starts and held opponents to a .224 average. She struck out 139 batters while walking 74. She went a perfect 13-0 in conference and won 12 straight starts in conference action. This is her second time she earned all-West region honors, last season she was selected to the first team.
The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each region, and all the honorees will now be eligible for selection to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first, second or third teams. In addition, conference pitchers and players of the year not selected to the regional teams were added for All-America consideration. A total of 256 players from 116 different institutions comprise this season’s 10 regional teams, including first and second teams for each region.
The five Rainbow Wahine selected were the most since 1998, when the ‘Bows had six players make th e All-West Region teams. Joyce Lum, Melissa McGie, Tia Morenz and Kelly Gentle were all named to the first team that year, while Kehau Cofran and Dana Degen made the second team.
The NFCA Division I All-American teams will be announced on Wednesday, June 2.
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Rainbow Wahine basketball coach Dana Takahara-Dias is today’s guest on the Warrior Beat Show, which will start at about 11 a.m.
The originally scheduled guest, Chad Owens, cannot make it because of family responsibilities.
Questions may be posed on this blog or the show’s Cover It Live section.
You’re welcome to join us.
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Thanks again to our unheralded stars, Dayton Morinaga and Leila Wai, for hosting yesterday’s online chat with Gib Arnold. We learned:
• Plans are close to being finalized for a regular-season basketball game between UH and Chicago State on Maui.
• Benjy Tylor will work with the wing players, Walter Roese will mentor the post players, and Arnold will coach the point guards.
• The next assistant coach will not be hired until August.
• Looks like a version of Midnight Ohana, combining the men’s and women’s basketball programs, will be resurrected.
• A game is in the works between UH and UTEP, where Arnold’s mentor, Tim Floyd, is the head coach. Any meeting would be only in Hawaii.
• He may be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Happy 17th birthday to Devon James Tsai.