LAIE, Hawaii – BYU-Hawaii softball was unable to hold on to early leads in both games against Western Washington losing 8-1 in the first game followed by a 2-1 loss in the second game.
"I felt our pitchers battled today and kept us in that second game," BYU-Hawaii head coach Alexandra Shamo said. "We just need to be better at getting the clutch hits. We are doing a good job at getting on base, but we need to improve on moving the runners and bringing them home. I hope tomorrow we can take another step forward."
Junior shortstop Kalynn Latu led the Seasiders (0-4) hitting .500 (3-for-6) on the day. Freshman third baseman Lizabelle Talataina put together a strong offensive showing in the first game finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Junior pitcher Destyni Valencia had a strong outing in the circle during the second game allowing only three walks and two earned runs.
After Brittany Vasquez retired the first three Western Washington (3-1) batters, Brandy Karly walked and promptly stole second to put a runner in scoring position for BYU-Hawaii. Talataina then singled to left center to bring her home. After Vasquez singled and the runners advanced on a wild pitch, the Vikings pitching got out of the jam with two consecutive pop outs.
Western Washington answered in the second inning stringing together several hits to tie the game 1-1 heading into the bottom of the frame. Latu, T. Anu Memea and Whitney Gustafson loaded the bases for the Seasiders, but the Vikings were able to get out of the jam with some good defensive plays from third baseman Emma Blauser.
Western Washington blew things open in the top of the third scoring five runs on five hits to take a commanding 6-1 lead. BYU-Hawaii was unable to bring runners around and the Vikings added two more runs on a homerun to right field to end the scoring in the sixth inning.
Western Washington threatened early in the second game using back-to-back errors with two outs to put runners on second and third. Valencia got the next batter swinging to end the scoring threat.
After BYU-Hawaii was unable to put a runner on in the bottom of the first, Valencia found herself in a jam again with runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the second. Latu scooped up a ground ball and threw over to Talataina at third for the first out of the inning. The Vikings answered with a bunt single to load the bases. A ground out to short and a pop up to second ended the inning with the game still tied 0-0.
Pitisi Tualau hit a blooper to centerfield to leadoff the bottom of the frame. Memea then entered to pinch run and was moved over to second on a groundout to second base. Latu singled to center to put runners on the corners with one out. Alexa Barrett then hit a sharp grounder to second to allow Memea to score on the fielder's choice to take a 1-0 lead.
The game became a pitcher's duel with neither team being able to gain an advantage over the next two innings. Western Washington finally broke through in the fifth inning after a single to right-center field brought a run in from third to tie the game 1-1. Back-to-back singles brought in another run to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead.
The Seasiders put runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, but were unable to get the crucial hits needed to bring the tying run across.
BYU-Hawaii will return to the diamond tomorrow in a doubleheader against Simon Fraser beginning at 1 p.m. HST. Live stats will be available online.