Seasiders sweep Eagles

Seasiders sweep Eagles

LAIE, Hawaii – Junior pitcher Destyni Valencia gave up one hit and sophomore outfielder Tiffany Smith came through with two RBI to lead BYU-Hawaii softball to a doubleheader sweep of Faulkner. The Seasiders (6-18) defeated the Eagles (11-7) 1-0 in the first game before a 7-3 victory in the second.

"I felt like the girls came out ready to play today," BYU-Hawaii head coach Alexandra Shamo said. "Destyni was great in the circle for us and our offense did all the little things we've worked on in practice. It was great to see us put it all together in the first game and keep that focus into the second."

Smith was 3-for-5 on the day recording an RBI in each game. Junior shortstop Kalynn Latu also finished hitting .600 to go with three doubles and two runs scored. Freshman second baseman Courtney Hiruko finished the day 3-for-6 from the plate with a double, triple and three runs.

Valencia (3-8) pitched 10.2 nearly flawless innings, allowing one hit, no runs and striking out nine batters. She was the pitcher of record in both games.

Game one

After a quick top of the third inning, Kalynn Latu doubled to straightway center field to lead off the bottom of the frame. Hiruko grounded out to first base to move Latu over to third and Tiffany Smith sacrificed to right field to bring her home for the only run of the game. 

Valencia struck out the first two Eagle batters of the game and forced a groundout to finish the first inning with a clean sheet, but Faulkner retired the side in the bottom of the frame to keep the game scoreless.

Valencia struck out another batter in the second and was able to work herself out of a jam after two batters reached base on a hit-by-pitch. Talataina walked and Whitley Haimin reached on a fielder's choice to put a runner in scoring position for BYU-Hawaii in the bottom of the second. Unfortunately, the Seasiders were unable to push across a run.

Trailing 1-0, the Eagles were again set down in order in the top of the fourth. Faulkner kept BYU-Hawaii off the board in the bottom of the inning to set up another scoring chance in the fifth inning. Amanda Seales struck out swinging for what would have been the third out, but reached first on a passed ball. Hannahlee Harris then singled on a bunt back to the pitcher and Seales advanced to third. Senior catcher Whitney Gustafson made sure no further damage was done, gunning down Harris at second on the attempted steal to end the top of the inning.

Latu doubled downs the left-field line with one out in the bottom of the fifth, and Hiruko singled to centerfield to put runners at the corners. Smith flied out in the left and Latu was caught at the plate to keep the score 1-0 heading to the sixth.

Valencia retired the next six Eagle batters in order to secure the tight victory.

Game two

Freshman Brittany Vasquez started in the circle for the Seasiders in game two and left two Eagle runners stranded in the top of the first. BYU-Hawaii then took the early lead in the bottom of the frame. Hiruko reached first on a throwing error by catcher to lead off and Smith advanced her to second with the sacrifice bunt. Makaela Williamson then singled up to the middle and advanced to second on the throw to score Hiruko. Whitley Haimin singled to right field on the next at bat to bring in Williamson and give the Seasiders the 2-0 lead.

Faulkner scored for the first time of the day in the top second after Makenzie Anthony was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to close the gap to one. In the bottom of the frame, Latu doubled down the left-field line with two outs. Hiruko then sent a ball into the right-field corner for a stand-up triple to bring her home.  Smith beat out the throw to first off a single just under the pitchers glove to score Hiruko and extend the Seasider lead to 4-1.

The Eagles closed the gap again in the fourth inning with a Jessica Butterworth sacrifice fly and a wild pitch to score two runs, as Valencia entered to record the final two outs of the inning.

BYU-Hawaii answered again on offense. Hiruko doubled down the left-field line with one out and Smith singled through the left side to put runners on the corners. Smith stole second and Williamson walked to load the bases. Talataina doubled to the right center with a hard hit to bring home two and extend the lead to 6-3. A ground out to short by Haimin allowed pinch runner Jessica Nicholes to score from third for the final run of the game.

Valencia did not allowed only one more base runner in the final three innings to polish off the sweep.

BYU-Hawaii continues its home stand with a doubleheader against cross-island rival Hawaii Pacific on Saturday beginning at noon HST. Live stats will be available online.

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