ATHERTON, Calif. – BYU-Hawaii softball finished their season with a flurry of home runs to sweep Menlo College in a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Seasiders (12-32) came back to win the first game 5-4 in eight innings followed by a 12-10 win in a second game of extra innings with the Oaks (10-26).
Third baseman Lizabelle Talataina finished her freshman campaign hitting 6-for-8 with two home runs, three RBI and four runs to lead BYU-Hawaii. Brittany Vasquez added her first career home run in the first game, while Kalynn Latu hit her first of the season in the second game. Sarah Captain led the Seasiders in the second game, going 4-for-5 with a home run and six RBI. Both teams combined for 11 home runs in the doubleheader.
Destyni Valencia (7-16) earned the victory in the first game striking out nine batters and allowing only four earned runs. Pitisi Tualau (1-5) recorded her first victory from the circle in the second game after pitching 2.2 innings in relief and allowing only three earned runs.
After trailing for most of the game, Barrett started the eighth inning on second base in accordance with the tiebreaker rule. She was advanced to third on a groundout by Captain back to the pitcher. Whitney Gustafson then sent a slow roller to short to score Barrett from third for the 4-3 lead. Makaela Williamson came in to pinch hit and drew a walk and a wild throw allowed Courtney Hiruko to reach first base safely. Tiffany Smith then singled to right-center field to score Williamson, but was called out at second after a discussion between the umpires. A single down the right field line from Taylor Snowden gave Regan Rudisill the chance to score and bring the Oaks back within one, but Karl made a spectacular diving catch for the third out to end the game.
The Oaks grabbed an early 2-0 lead after Brooke Shigematsu doubled and Nicole Larson sent a ball over the fence in the bottom of the first.
Lizabelle Talataina, Alexa Barrett and Whitney Gustafson each hit singles to load the bases in the top of the fourth with no outs, but the Oaks worked out of the jam to keep the lead.
Talataina started the scoring off for BYU-Hawaii with a homer over the right field fence in the top of the sixth to cut the lead in half. Anu Memea was hit by a pitch and Gustafson singled to center field, but they were both left on base. In the bottom of the frame, Menlo answered with a solo shot of its own from Brianna Brothers to make it a 3-1 game.
Tiffany Smith started the seventh inning with a double down the left field line and Brittany Vasquez sent the ball over the right-field fence to tie the game at 3-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh. The Oaks put the winning run on third with two outs, but Brandy Karl grabbed a fly ball in left to send the game to extra innings.
Trailing by four in the seventh inning, Williamson pinch hit and was hit by the first pitch she saw to reach first. Talataina followed with a single to center field and Barrett singled on a hard hit deflected by the pitcher to load the bases. Back-to-back doubles by Captain and Whitley Haimin to left center brought four runners home in the top of the seventh to make the game 7-7. Vasquez then sent a ball into shallow right field, but the outfielder played the ball well to throw her out at first to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. The Oaks had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the frame after loading the bases with two outs, but Tualau forced the next batter into a fly ball to Captain in right to send the game to extra innings.
Vasquez began the top of the eighth on second and Talataina sent a high fly ball over the center field fence to put the Seasiders up 9-7. After a single by Barrett, Captain sent another ball to deep center field that bounced off the head of the outfielder and over the fence for another two-run shot. Kalynn Latu capped off the home run spree with a solo shot well beyond the center-field fence to take a 12-7 lead into the bottom of the frame. Emmeline Wang made it home on a ground out to third and Larson's two-run home run with one out kept the game close, but Tualau forced the final two Oaks batters into a groundout to short and a fly ball to center to end the game.
After Vasquez reached first on a fielder's choice, a single by Talataina moved her into scoring position. An errant throw allowed Barrett to reach safely and Vasquez scored the first run of the game. Talataina made it home on Captain's single to put BYU-Hawaii up 2-0 in the top of the first. Larson singled to right center and Snowden followed with a home run off the top of the fence in right to tie the game 2-2.
The Oaks took the 3-2 lead when Alaina Morgan sent a solo home run over the center field fence in the bottom of the second.
After Vasquez reached on an error and then advanced to second when a sacrifice bunt by Talataina resulted in the second error of the inning. Barrett then sacrificed to move both runners into scoring position. Captain again singled to left field to score Vasquez and tie the game once more. Menlo's Shigematsu crossed the plate on a wild throw by Gustafson to retake a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the frame.
BYU-Hawaii struggled to score the next few innings and Rudisill's home run over the center field fence extended the Oaks' lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth. Shigematsu scored another run in the fifth inning and Rudisill made it home again for Menlo in the sixth for a 7-3 lead.
The Seasiders wrapped up their season and will look to continue building on their successes during the 2016 campaign.