LAIE, Hawaii – BYU-Hawaii softball opened up the year with two losses to Gustavus Adolphus in a 7-2 decision in game one and a 7-3 loss in the night cap.
"I felt we had some bright spots today," BYU-Hawaii head coach Alexandra Shamo. "We came back in both games and were able to tie things up in the second game. I think we did a good job doing the small things: getting base hits, getting our bunts down and moving the runners. We just need to be more consistent as we move forward."
Courtney Hiruko led the Seasiders (0-2) going 2-for-5 with two RBI on the day. Brittany Vasquez went 1-for-3 with an RBI in the second game as well as pitching all seven innings of the second game. Destyni Valencia was the pitcher of record in the first game for BYU-Hawaii in her first start as a Seasider.
After the Gusties (4-2) put their first two batters on base, Valencia forced three consecutive groundouts to keep runners stranded on first and second. The Seasiders couldn't get much going in the bottom of the frame.
Valencia found herself again in a two-out jam in the second, but this time Gustavus Adolphus broke through as the wind carried a hard hit by Shelby Nosan over the left-field fence for a three-run homerun.
The Gusties added to their lead in the fourth inning as Carly Klass slid underneath the tag of Makaela Williamson at home to make it 4-0 in their favor. Josey Walker walked to lead off the bottom of the inning and Brandy Karl moved her over on the sacrifice bunt. Lizabelle Talataina then singled up the middle to bring in Walker and close the gap to 4-1.
After Valencia put down the batters in order in the top of the fifth, Williamson singled and advanced to second on Hiruko's sacrifice bunt to put BYU-Hawaii in scoring position again. Kalynn Latu and Whitley Haimin both singled to bring Williamson across. The Seasiders could not capitalize with the bases loaded and headed to the sixth down 4-2.
The Gusties added three more runs in the sixth off their second homerun of the game to left field to finish off the scoring.
Gustavus Adolphus took another early lead in the second game after stringing together several hits to take an early 2-0 lead. Walker singled to lead off the bottom of the first and advanced to second, but BYU-Hawaii was unable to bring her across.
The game turned into a pitcher's duel and Vasquez allowed only two hits through the next four innings of play. In the sixth inning back-to-back doubles by the Gusties gave them a 3-0 lead, but Vasquez didn't allow another run to cross to keep things close.
The Seasiders offense came alive in the bottom of the sixth, as Camry Erickson doubled down the left-field line to start things off. Vasquez singled up the middle to bring her in and make the score 3-1 in Gustavus Adolphus's favor. Talataina entered to pinch run and beat out a throw to second on a fielder's choice to put runners on first and second with one out.
Tiffany Smith loaded the bases after she reached when the pitcher was unable to corral her hard hit back to the circle. With two outs, Hiruko came through with a line drive to the left-center gap to bring across two more runs and tie the game.
The Gusties answered quickly in the seventh finally stringing together some hits against Vasquez to score four runs and take the lead for good.
The Seasiders return to action on Monday against Western Washington in doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. HST on the BYU-Hawaii softball fields.