LAIE, Hawaii – BYU-Hawaii softball was unable to get the crucial hits needed to upset Azusa Pacific in game one, falling 5-3 before dropping a 10-1 decision in the second game on Saturday afternoon.
Brandy Karl had one of her best days as a Seasider (4-18, 2-16 PacWest) finishing 5-for-8 with a run and a stolen base. Sarah Captain added the first homerun of her career in the first game finishing with a .333 (2-for-6) day at the plate.
Destyni Valencia (1-8) had a spectacular outing in the first game allowing four earned runs and striking out two in seven innings.
Azusa Pacific (18-14, 12-9 PacWest) grabbed a quick lead in the first game after Illiana Jimenez scored on a sacrifice fly and Kayla Jimenez singled to left field to bring in a second for the Cougars. Courtney Hiruko singled to left field to lead off the bottom of the inning and Brandy Karl singled on a bunt to advance her into scoring position. Unfortunately, the Seasiders were unable to cut into Azusa Pacific's lead.
Katrina Oviedo scored on a bases-loaded walk and I. Jimenez scored on a wild pitch to extend the Cougars lead to 4-0.
The Seasiders were able to finally find their offensive groove in the bottom of the third. Karl singled to the shortstop and advanced to second after Makaela Williamson was hit by a pitch. Karl and pinch-runner Jessica Nicholes then executed a double steal to put two runners in scoring position. Lizabelle Talataina singled through the left side to cut the lead to 4-1. Another double steal with runners on the corners allowed Nicholes to cross the plate with one out to make it a two-run Cougar lead heading to the fourth.
Nicki Sprague doubled down the left-field line in the top of the fourth to score I. Jimenez and extend the lead back to three. BYU-Hawaii threatened in the bottom of the frame after back-to-back singles by Haimin and Captain led off the inning. Despite having a runner on third with one out, the Seasiders were unable to plate a run and cut into the lead.
Valencia retired the side in the top of the fifth inning to keep the game close for BYU-Hawaii's offense. The Seasiders had runners on second and third with one out, but again were unable to get any runs across the plate.
Valencia again made quick work of the Cougars batters in the sixth allowing no hits and only one runner to reach base. Captain led off with a homerun to right to cut the lead to two. With the bases-loaded and one-out, BYU-Hawaii looked to complete the comeback, but again could not bring in the runner from third.
The Seasiders last chance came up short again as two-consecutive outs left runners stranded at first and second.
The Cougars again scored two runs in the top of the first off a homerun by Sprague. Hiruko led off the bottom of the frame with a single, but BYU-Hawaii again saw a scoring opportunity escape its grasp stranding runners on first and third.
Azusa Pacific added two more unearned runs in the top of the second to take the 4-0 lead. In the bottom of the second inning, Jessica Walker singled to first base and a sacrifice bunt by W. Haimin put her in scoring position. A throwing error by the shortstop allowed Walker to score and close the gap to three.
It was the only run of the game for the Seasiders, as the Cougars added three runs in both the fourth and the seventh innings to take the game.
BYU-Hawaii returns to the diamond on Thursday against Faulkner at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. HST at the BYU-Hawaii softball field.