Congrats to the Rainbow Wahine Softball team on their victory against Utah State! Regular season champions New Mexico State earned a bye and will face off against the Rainbow Wahine today at 8am HAWAII TIME.
Fresno State’s home field is a classic “pitcher’s park”. On paper this favors the Rainbow Wahine as they boast the best pitching in the conference. Probably will see Stephanie Ricketts start today as Kaia Parnaby was feeling a bit under the weather a few days ago. However, let’s not forget that Jenna Rodriguez said “aloha” to the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium as a Rainbow Wahine on senior night in stellar fashion as she clinched two back to back wins against the WAC’s most potent offense this season in the pitching circle.
Some believe that today’s game between NMSU and UH will serve as some sort of “play in” game with regards to the WAC’s at large NCAA bid for the tournament. UH’s RPI is at 55 and NMSU is at 56. It might. Both Hawaii and New Mexico State are represented at the “table” as Rainbow Wahine head coach Bob Coolen is on the West Region Advisory Committee along with Maria Roth (women’s administrator) of New Mexico State. Roth is also on the 10 person NCAA Division I Softball Selection Committee.
Stephanie Ricketts has had a heck of a week. Not only did she win the WAC Pitcher of the Week honor, but she won her 3rd overall WAC year-end honor and her 2nd WAC Pitcher of the Year honor as well!
That’s pretty much it, oh WAIT!!! With her four strikeouts in yesterday afternoon’s 6-1 victory against Utah State, Stephanie Ricketts made a historic mark on the Rainbow Wahine Softball program by becoming the all time career strikeout leader with 587 strikeouts. Former Rainbow Wahine, the All-American Brooke Wilkins held the record at 585 strikeouts. Long time Rainbow Wahine fans will forever remember Wilkins as an iconic figure in Rainbow Wahine Softball despite her short time in Hawaii, but now Stephanie Ricketts has made left her “signature” on the program’s history as well.
Sitting out there in 2009 and seeing the slow but gradual maturity of a then-freshman pitcher thrown into the mix due to injuries to other pitchers was quite an experience and honestly I am NOT surprised to see where Ricketts is today.
I couldn’t think of just one thing to write about, but considering that many on this blog are active in supporting UH athletics in multiple ways, I figured I’d share my experiences with regards to the first year of Na Wahine Softball Booster Club.
From what started as another attempt in raising funds for another “round” of championship bracelets for the Wahine Softball Program, to getting to know the various people that have been the “behind the scenes” supporters of Wahine Softball for years and years, it has been a satisfying and sometimes “educational” ride.
But through it all, it has been a successful year for the softball booster club. We have ended the 2011 regular season with 70+ members, tripling what it was in the previous season. I give the credit to the Rainbow Wahine themselves for this achievement. They are the ones generating the success and attention and going back to what they did in 2010, it only helped make things easier for us in terms of gaining more members.
The outright cash donations we received during home games was a success as well and we surpassed our goal of raising $1,000.00 just off this alone. Another source of funds have come from proceeds received from our exclusive “Na Wahine Softball Booster Club” Under Armour polo shirts.
After we reviewed the money raised for the program thru membership fees, outright donations, proceeds from polo shirts, etc… the REAL satisfaction, for me at least, has been getting to know the parents of the players, the coaching staff, training staff and field crew, etc…
This program, as successful as it has been on a national level, is run differently. From a head coach that does everything under the sun and moon to the various others that assist with post game meals, it’s all amazing to see a program of this level being held together in a manner that is more functional for necessity than luxury.
With that being said, I’d like to acknowledge ALL of those that we have met and “worked” alongside this past regular season:
Bob and Nanci Coolen, Dee Wisneski, Kaulana Williams, John Nakamura, Dickie and Dale Titcomb, Ralph and Bobbie Omoto, Andrew Lee, Kyle Tengan, Associate AD Carl Clapp, Don Weir, Gwen Nakamura, Mark Takai, Debra Lee Goto, Kara Nishimura, Kara Romersa, Noelani Agunoy, Stanley Ching, John McNamara, Alvin Katahara, Bob Suphan, Joyce Lum, Rowland Fujii, Robin Gomes, Jason Kaneshiro and AD Jim Donovan.
If I forgot anybody, I apologize.