Kaia Parnaby pitched a four-hit shutout, and Hawaii scored three fifth-inning runs to beat Minnesota 3-0 in the NCAA tournament’s Seattle Regional Friday at the University of Washington’s Husky Softball Stadium.
Hawaii (44-11) will next play Washington (39-15) — a 2-1 winner over Portland State in Friday’s other opening-round game — at 10 a.m. today in the four-team, double-elimination Seattle Regional. Minnesota (35-18) then plays Portland State (25-30) in an elimination game at 12:30 p.m.
Parnaby, who struck out eight and walked one, improved to 38-5. The Gophers’ Erica Meyer was the only baserunner who reached scoring position against the Hawaii ace, hitting a leadoff single and advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth before stroking a one-out double in the seventh.
Meyer finished 3-for-3.
Sharla Kliebenstein started Hawaii’s three-run rally with a one-out double to left-center. After Brynne Buchanan struck out, Minnesota pitcher Sara Moulton intentionally walked Kelly Majam, and Kayla Wartner, after falling behind 0-2 in the count, drew a walk to load the bases.
Keiki Carlos’ infield single plated Kliebenstein, and Jessica Iwata’s single up the middle scored Majam and 2012 Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate Kiani Wong, who pinch ran for Wartner.
Like Meyer, Iwata went 3-for-3, and Majam’s run — her 58th of the season — tied a Big West Conference record.
Moulton also went the distance, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out six and walking two.